Home invasions a sign crime is moving out of inner city

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Anxiety has already been growing in neighborhoods on the outskirts of Indianapolis.

A recent string of home invasion robberies may be just the beginning and neighborhoods are fighting back.

911 dispatchers have noticed an increased number of phone calls in the wake of the home invasions.

"911, what's the location of your emergency?" a dispatcher asked a recent caller.

"There's some men on the corner of 52nd and N. Kenwood Street. I don't know what they're doing," said the caller.

Calling 911 was the number one topic of a neighborhood crime watch meeting in Meridian Hills Tuesday night that drew a standing room-only crowd to a local church.

"I think the message to the neighbors, if they see something out of the ordinary, if they just think, they need to call.  Let the police decide if it's an emergency," said Paul Forbes.

Forbes is the president of the Windcombe Neighborhood Association.  This is where thieves hit two weeks ago, violently assaulting and robbing a couple and their daughter, who is in her 20s.

While neighborhoods like this on the city's north side don't often see violent crime, some say the home invasions we saw in the last two weeks in these communities may just be the tip of the iceberg.

"We actually really predicted it almost a year ago." said Rev. Charles Harrison.

Harrison leads the city's Ten Point Coalition.  He has dedicated years to helping police fight crime all over the city.

"You could see the money in the inner city was drying up. They were coming to the areas where they felt people had more resources," said Harrison.

Plus, he says these criminals come from troubled home lives and sentiments like the one expressed by one of the home invasion suspects are widespread among poor inner city youth.

"They see other kids who have stuff that they don't have and they want it. They will do anything to get stuff.  That means they will take from me, from you," said Harrison.

Harrison says communities have to treat this violence as a whole city problem and not just an inner city problem for this crime to truly be rooted out.