PRESENTATION ON NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUPS

NOTES FROM SGT. REGIS THIMONS
PRESENTATION ON NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUPS
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2015

A group of Wellington Park Villas residents met with Sgt. Regis Thimons at the Francis Branch Library and the following points were made:
  • Over 85% of home and car break ins- are drug related
  • There is a heroin epidemic in our area – it starts with prescription drugs mostly oxycodone and ADD medication – kids are selling it in schools and on the street.  They give it to a classmate to help them relax and pass a test.  Then they are hooked.  it leads to heroin addiction because heroin is less expensive. You will not read about this in the SB Tribune or hear it from the schools.  Nine kids have overdosed on heroin so far this year.  The police find these kids with the needle still in their arm.  One 14 yr. old boy who was doing breaking and entering had 42 texts on his phone from his classmates ordering drugs within an hour and 20 minutes time he was at the police station.  This is epidemic in our school system.  We are not taking about South Bend inner city.  This is Granger.
  • Burglars wait for people to leave for work  
  • Burglars are looking for jewelry, guns, electronics and money
  • Most burglaries are between 8:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Most thieves are in the home less than 4-6 minutes from the time they enter the home.  They go straight to the master bedroom, take a pillowcase and help themselves.  This usually goes into a backpack and they are off walking through the neighborhood to where they parked the get away car.  They fit in.  They look like they belong!  If you see anyone with a backpack walking CALL.
  • The non-emergency number to call is 235-9611 or call 911 if an event is in progress
  • It takes an alarm company 3-6 minutes to call the police because most owners want to be called first.  By then the thieves are gone. Have them call the police FIRST and you second
  • When you go to bed, take your cell phone if you do not have a land line. (more on this later) and your car fob alarm with you
  • The First  way of deterring a burglar is to get an alarm system.
  • The Second is lighting.  Ones on Motion detectors are best because it surprises them.
  • The Third is stickers on your windows and doors advertising that you have an alarm system and a neighborhood watch sticker available from the police dept.
  • He also suggests altering  your schedule of leaving and returning…we are creatures of habit and the “bad guys” know that and are counting on it…  They usually case a home for 3 days to watch for patterns.
  • When you come into your home after being away….do an inner perimeter check on your doors and windows– and LOCK YOUR DOORS!  Before you go to bed at night…do the same inner perimeter check.  Make sure your garage door is down and the door from the garage to the home is LOCKED.
  • If you hear and intruder use your land line to call police as they will immediately have your name, address and all info they need for a quick response.  With a cell phone here in St. Joe County your exact location is not known.  All they know is you are somewhere in a 5 -6 mile radious. If you hear an intruder go to your bedroom or other safe room.  Have a good lock on this door.  Try to put a dresser or a 2 x4 or something to block the door and stay there until the police arrive.
  • Women  – don’t leave your purse on the kitchen counter or full view of any window 
  • Turn your back lights on as well as front porch and garage lights.
  • If you are away, put lights on timers that go off at VARIABLE times
  • If you are gone for a short period of time – leave the TV on
  • The St. Joe County Police will do a “vacation watch” if you call them – no charge.
  • He stated that it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbors  – neighborhood block parties and picnics are a good idea .
  • If you see anything suspicious – cars, people in the neighborhood you don’t recognize,ESPECIALLY PEOLE WALKING WITH A BACKPACK!!!!!  call police. 235-9611
  • Never open your door to a stranger. If you don’t have glass sidelights get a peep hole installed.  When you go to the door have a phone in your hand in case you need to call 911.  You can talk to them behind the closed door!  Note:  There is no soliciting in our neighborhood.  There is signage at our entrance regarding this.  Call the St. Joe County Police Non Emergency number  235-9611 and they will come out to stop it.  The solicitors may just be checking to see who is home.  Even if we allowed them they must have a permit and are required to show it to you plus a photo ID.  99% of times they do not therefore they are illegally soliciting.
  • If a thief goes to your front door and knocks and you do not answer they usually will go to the back and or side doors and knock.  They are making sure you are not home as they do not want confrontation.  
  • Home Improvement stores sell hardware you can put on your windows to stop them from being forcibly raised but still allowing you to raise your window for ventilation
  • Car break-ins are usually in the middle of the night.  Thieves come from as far away as Wisconsin for Notre Dame Weekends.  They read the ads.  They know who is renting out their homes.  Out of state cars will be hit.  They folks in Pendle Woods pays a policeman $50 and hour to patrol from 9 P.M. to 5 A.M. every ND home game of any type of sport.
  • Do not leave your garage door opener in your car and then leave it outside!
  • Leave nothing visible in your car if left outside.
  • Sgt Thimons told the story about a man who’s dog ran off a burglar.  Instead of calling the police he went back to bed.  The thief went on to rob 5 of his neighbor’s homes. Please call the police.
  • He told us a thief can max out your credit cards at each of 4 to 5 stores before the system can catch up with it.
  • if you are away have someone come over and vary your shades and curtains.  Changing things around so it appears someone is home.
  • if you are home keep the alarm system ON
  • if you have a gun you need to be prepared to use it.  You need to practice and have pulling the trigger become second nature or the gun could be used on you.
  • Remember do not open the door for a stranger.  Some ways they get into your house are:
  1. The person says his/her car broke down and asks to use the phone.  Tell them you will call the number for them.
  2. Tells you they have lost a puppy and want to give you information about it
Remember if you see anything suspicious call the St. Joe County Non Emergency number 235-9611.  The police would rather come out on a false alarm than miss catching a thief.   If the event is in progress Call 911.   Have these numbers taped on every phone.
Call the South Bend Tribune and ask them why they are not reporting the thefts in Granger.  They finally reported the thefts on Jefferson and the thefts stopped.  The thieves moved to another area.

Special thanks to Posi Tucker for her help with this information.

 

Knollwood Golf Course Trees Cut Down

Knollwood Trees Cut DownIf you are wondering why trees all over the Knollwood Golf Course are being cut down here is the reason.

A proposed settlement has been reached in the DuPont Imprelis weed killer class action lawsuit. The settlement proposes to resolve claims resulting from Imprelis use by lawn care professionals on residential and commercial properties as well as by golf courses between August 31, 2010, and August 21, 2011 across the country, except California and New York. You can read the rest of this article here.

According to the article Dupont is paying for the removal, replacement of equivalent trees up to 20 feet and maintenance of the replacement trees.

We are told the Knollwood Golf Course will have between approximately 350 trees cut down and replanted.

Water and Septic Information

January 21, 2014

 

Dear Knollwood Neighbors,

I had a very productive meeting with Mark Nelson, Environmental Health Manager at the St. Joseph County Health Department concerning the nitrate levels found in Granger drinking water.  This is my attempt to simplify the issue from the experts.

Northern Indiana has enjoyed the most prolific aquifer in the state.  In a nutshell, an aquifer is an underground layer of glacial water, filtered by sand and gravel, supplying water to our wells.  This aquifer is now showing levels of nitrates.

Nitrates and pharmaceuticals from our old and failing septic systems are leaking into our drinking water, via our personal wells.

Nitrates come from human urine.  For example, when a person takes an antibiotic or seizure medicine, their body absorbs what it can, and the remainder comes out of the body in the form of urine.  The urine then goes into the septic system.  If the system is failing, the nitrates leak out into our yards and then into our well.

This nitrate problem is not unique to Granger.  Most communities throughout the country, with older septic systems, are experiencing the same issues.  The best remedy is of course, the most expensive….. hooking up to city water and sewer.  At this time, the solution is too expensive for the 30,000 + Granger residents.  What do we do?  The county health department would love to see all drywells replaced, as a first step.  To date, it has not been mandated.

Have your water tested.   ($80.00 to $115.00 )

If the nitrate levels are too high, a reverse osmosis unit can be installed under the kitchen sink, where most drinking water is taken from.  A whole house system is not usually necessary because we do not consume or absorb enough nitrates while brushing our teeth or showering.  A reverse osmosis unit can be purchased from any hardware store but should be installed by a licensed plumber.  The total estimated cost for the unit and installation should be no more than $350.00.  By the way, boiling your water makes the nitrate content even higher.  Boiling water is only recommended when bacteria is present.

Pump and inspect your septic system   ($150.00 approx)

As a realtor, I would highly recommend having your septic and well inspected prior to listing.  The county is in the process of making septic codes stricter for the transfer of property.  A new septic system could cost $7,000 or more.  Knowledge is power!

The following list is meant to be helpful to our neighbors and is not an endorsement by the Knollwood Home Owner’s Association.

Valley Lea Water Testing   272-8484     

Guardian Septic (formally A & R) 574-202-7407

Cowsert Septic   574-674-8960 

BFS Plumbing   251-1931                                                       

SLR Plumbing  269-683-1290

“This article is strictly for informational purposes only.  The Knollwood HOA and its board are not experts on nitrates, or septic systems. Before acting you should seek the opinion of an expert regarding an issue discussed in this article or call the St. Joseph County Health Department at 235-9721

For further information read Save Your Septic System