Tuesday, October 4, 2011

National Night Out

National Night Out is a way for neighbors to connect with each other, and let criminals know that neighborhoods are watching out for suspicious activities. This is the 28th year for National Night Out, and Oakhaven Apartments will be celebrating tonight with a small street fair. Local businesses will be out in the parking lot in front of the office giving out free samples or promotional products, and educating residents on such matters as immigration and family law, health, how to start a business, and more. Stop on by, get acquainted, snag a coupon for a free cup of coffee, and meet your neighbors!Buy at Art.com
By the way, the official site has the date as August, but Texas has a different date, October 4th. We're not late, but right on time, we promise!

This is the first year the Oakhaven Crime Watch has done this (we're not even two years old yet), and so we appreciate your questions, suggestions, etc., as well as help for organizing for next year. Let's show everyone how it is done! Come on out and join us in taking back our neighborhoods!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


People go door-to-door, either soliciting for religious organizations, or asking you to buy something or sign something. People jump the fence to get into the pool. People drive by the dumpsters, looking for things of value. People go door-to-door, leaving menus, coupons, or flyers, or put advertisements under your windshield wipers.

What's wrong with this picture? This is an easy question to answer--all these people are, knowingly or unknowingly, breaking the law! If they will break the law to get on Oakhaven property, do we want them hanging around our homes or our families?Buy at Art.com

Trespassing is a crime. Those people who are going door-to-door could be taking notes on who is home during the day and who is gone; who answers the door and who doesn't; and who is home alone. The person jumping the fence at the pool has not had a criminal background check as the residents of Oakhaven have had, and that could endanger someone at the pool. The person dumpster-diving is not only blocking traffic, but could steal your identity and sell it. And the person leaving advertisements on your car windshield could be writing down or photographing your VIN number and taking out a lien on your car.

When someone who is not an Oakhaven resident or employee comes to your door who is not accompanied by another Oakhaven resident, or a member of Oakhaven management or Oakhaven maintenance, that person is trespassing. You don't need to confront them; just politely tell them that they are breaking the law (if they ask which one, it is Section 113-02 through 113-04). For example, Section J of 113-02 reads:
(J) It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit funds, distribute or cause to be distributed, deposited, placed, thrown, scattered, or cast any handbill at or upon any premises if requested by anyone thereon not to do so, or if there is placed on such premises in a conspicuous place upon or near the main entrance to the residence, a legible card bearing the words, "no trespassing," "no peddlers," "no advertisements," "no solicitation," "no handbills," or any similar notice indicating in any manner that the occupants of such premises do not desire to be molested or to have their right of privacy disturbed, or to have any such handbill left upon such premises, unless the handbill is distributed for a religious or political purpose.
Since Oakhaven driveways have "Private Property--No Trespassing" signs posted, any person distributing menus, flyers, or anything else on doors is breaking the law (the exception being announcements from Oakhaven, of course!).

And those door-to-door people? Section A reads:
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or through an agent, to canvass or solicit in person within the city to sell or attempt to sell goods, merchandise, wares, services, or anything of value or to take or attempt to take orders for the future delivery of goods, merchandise, wares, or any personal property of any nature whatsoever, or take or attempt to take orders for services to be furnished or performed in the future, without having an appropriate permit thereof.
And they are subject to section Q:
(Q) It shall be unlawful for a person to conduct any activity authorized by this section without a complete copy of the issued permit within their immediate possession.

As for those automobiles, those are covered under Section P:
(P) It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter, or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any automobile or other vehicle. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to prohibit the handing, transmitting, or distributing of any noncommercial handbill to the owner or other occupant of any automobile or other vehicle who is willing to accept the same. 
What can you do?
  • When someone comes to the door, ask to see their permit. They must have it in their immediate possession available for inspection. If they don't, tell them they are trespassing and breaking the law.
  • When someone leaves a flyer, menu, or handbill on your door, call the business and tell them they are breaking the law by leaving the material on the door.
  • When someone leaves some flyer or menu on your car, call the business and let them know they are breaking the law.

Read the City of Carrollton trespassing law for yourself and see!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Nobody at Oakhaven Cares about the Crime Watch

Building captains don't show up at the Oakhaven Crime Watch meetings. Residents don't show up at the Oakhaven Crime Watch meetings. Few people show up even when we hand out free food and bring in interesting speakers. Why are our Oakhaven Crime Watch meetings so sparsely attended?Buy at Art.com

We asked the experts. The answer is simple, and there's one main reason for the poor attendance at Oakhaven Crime Watch meetings. That is because our Oakhaven Crime Watch works, and there is very little crime here! If we had a number of cars or apartments broken into, we would have spectacular attendance at Oakhaven Crime Watch events. Naturally, we do not want a crime spree here, so this is why the Oakhaven Crime Watch is particularly important when it works well. As people drop out, we need more participation to fill empty positions when people move. And we always need more eyes and ears.

We don't want to have to all carry around pepper spray every time we take out the trash or get something from the car!

So just because the Oakhaven Crime Watch works, don't think we don't need every one of the Oakhaven residents. It's because of everyone's participation that Oakhaven is one of the safest places in Carrollton, already the safest city in Texas. Instead of complacency, we need cooperation! Make sure your building captain has your name, phone number, and email, at a minimum. If you don't have a building captain, how about becoming one?

In short, don't wait until it is too late to become involved in the Oakhaven Crime Watch. We want boring meetings, because we want the Oakhaven Crime Watch to work!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blog Features

In order to help you get the most out of our Oakhaven Crime Watch blog, we want to take you on a tour of what is available on our blog page. If you look to the right of this post, you will see on the top is our Twitter feed. This is used for short reminders as well as real-time reporting. So you can message everyone in the complex from your computer or mobile phone by sending a tweet to @OakhavenCW.

Just underneath that, you'll see a list of the agencies whose Twitter accounts the Oakhaven Crime Watch are following. As of today, those include the City of Carrollton and the Texas Department of Transportation. Both the City of Carrollton and the Texas Department of Transportation post useful information, not too often. The city posts about public events, road work, etc. that affect Oakhaven residents, and the Texas Department of Transportation posts about lane closures (again, something that the Oakhaven Crime Watch feels Oakhaven residents will find useful). We encourage you to see if those Twitter accounts will be useful to you.

Then you will find our blog archives. We try to make the posts useful to everyone,  so feel free to go back and read and comment on previous posts!

Underneath that is the Oakhaven Crime Watch calendar. Of course, the first thing we list on there is our monthly meeting. Even if you are not a member of the Oakhaven Crime Watch, we encourage you to show up, if for no other reason than to meet your building captain. However, the monthly meeting with the building captains is a way to find out how the Oakhaven Crime Watch works, and to express your concerns to the Crime Watch.

And lastly, on the right, is a list of links that we hope you will find useful. We have provided a link to the City of Carrollton's web site, the Carrollton Police Department's Facebook page and web site, and a link to listen to live radio from the Carrollton Police Department online--you don't even need to buy a scanner! If you are listening to something on the scanner, and you hear something of interest to Oakhaven residents, please send us a tweet about it! And last, we have a link to reported crime in and around Oakhaven, so you will understand just why we have the Crime Watch!

We have our privacy policy posted, and a page that tells you a little of the history of the Oakhaven Crime Watch. We hope you'll take the time to familiarize yourself with everything on the blog, and make suggestions for how we can make it more useful to you! Leave us a comment, send us a tweet, or send us an email. After all, we are here for you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How You Can Help the Crime Watch Committee

We at the Crime Watch committee do our best to keep an eye out and guard the safety of our neighbors. However, we cannot have eyes and ears everywhere. Want to help keep our apartment complex the safest in the neighborhood? Here's how!
Buy at Art.com
Crime, from the National Law Codes of Magnus Eriksson (1319-64) circa 1450
  • Keep your eyes open.
  • If you see suspicious behavior, call the police. After calling the police, talk to your building captain. Or post to a comment to the blog (this website) or send a message to our Twitter account. Or you can send an email to OakhavenCrimeWatch @ gmail.com (take out the spaces around the @ sign to make a valid email address).
  • If possible, get a picture or video of what is going on. If the police need to make an arrest, it will help identify the people they are looking for. If other residents need to be on the lookout for that person, a picture will go a long way in helping to identify suspicious persons.
  • Do not confront anyone!
  • Try to attend the Crime Watch meetings, which are open to anyone. It's free!
  • Make sure your building captain has your name, your email, and your phone number at a minimum. If something happens, we're going to call the police first. But then we'll call you and let you know, too. After all, if someone broke into your apartment or your car, would you rather know as soon as it happens, or wait to find out until you get home and be surprised by crime scene tape across your door?
  • Get to know your neighbors and keep an eye out for them when they are away from home. 

If you see something, and your instinct tells you that something is fishy, don't hesitate to report it. Don't ignore what your subconscious is telling you!

Cynthia Wunsch
Building 2 Crime Watch Captain

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome to the Oakhaven Crime Watch!

After taking a very unofficial survey of Crime Watch members and apartment community residents, the Crime Watch committee decided that a new format was in order. In addition to the monthly meetings, we have started a blog (this web site) and a Twitter account.

Posts to this blog can be made by any Crime Watch building captain. If you did not receive an email with your notification that the blog was up, please email oakhavencrimewatch @ gmail.com (take out the spaces), and let us know so we can add you to the approved authors list.

Buy at Art.com
The Nemesis of Neglect: Crime Shown as the Result of Bad Conditions in London
John Tenniel
Blog comments can be made by anyone, even anonymously, if, for example, you have trouble with one of your neighbors. All comments are moderated to make sure that they are relevant to the blog.

You can also contact us via Twitter! Follow @OakhavenCW to see what's happening. (Or just use the widget at the right!) Or send us an email: oakhavencrimewatch @ gmail.com (remove the spaces around the @ sign).

We're looking for someone to make a Facebook page for us. If you would like to volunteer, please contact anyone in Crime Watch.

Thanks to everyone who contributed feedback and support. Let's keep Oakhaven a great place to live! (And congratulations to Carlos, building 1 captain; he just won the raffle at the Verizon party!)

Cynthia Wunsch
Building 2 Crime Watch Captain