Get to Know Your Neighbors

The news out of Cleveland, Ohio is startling and disturbing. Three woman, Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were kidnapped between 2002 and 2004 from Lorain Avenue.  Ariel Castro kept the women bound and chained in his home. Neighbors had no idea the women had been held captive and restrained for almost ten years.


This is a stark reminder that we should get to know our neighbors a little better. It’s good advice to be observant of your neighbors. Know your neighbor’s vehicles, their work schedule, and their habits. This will help if your neighborhood ever falls victim to any crime from vandalism or burglary to even worse crimes such as abductions or murder. If you know your neighbors you’re more likely to notice things out of the ordinary. Such as the strange car that drives slowly past, the nosy person walking their dog and poking around yards, the strange sounds from your neighbor’s basement or the neighbor that buys a lot of fast food to go into an empty house.

You’re not being a nosy neighbor. You’re being a vigilant and observant neighbor that could one day save lives or property. You could one day be a hero.

Welcome home Amanda, Georgina, and Michelle. We’re sorry it took so long to get you back.

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Born in La Mirada, California, Melissa M. Garcia has lived most of her life in the sometimes gritty, but always entertaining landscape that is Southern California. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in English/Literature. Garcia is the author of the Luc Actar crime series (including Falling Angels and Chasing Demons) and the Death Valley Mystery series (Stranger: A Death Valley Mystery). She has also published an e-book collection, Faith Departed: Short Stories of Mystery, Crime, and Despair.

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