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Knowing your neighbors could help stop criminals

WACO, Texas - Austin's mayor is pleading with his community to get to know one another after the streak of explosive packages. This has been a key point as investigators question why someone would plant bombs across our state's Capital. 

"I mean, I can't think of a single downside to getting to know your neighbors," said Haley Griffis, a member of the Austin Avenue Neighborhood Association.

"That's a two-way street, but you know, as long as you make an effort to go out and introduce yourself to individuals, and let them know who you are," said Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin. 

For Haley and her family, it's about knowing all 50+ people living in her neighborhood. 

"We have a giant text group with just as many people as we can get on a group text and there are Facebook groups for lots of area neighborhoods," said Griffis. 

Police say staying in touch with your neighbors on a daily basis helps deter suspicious activity. 

Just this week, Griffis saw strangers at a neighbor's house - so she picked up the phone and called them. 

"She immediately said yes, oh my gosh, staining the fence. Thank you so much for calling, because it's kind of easy to ignore, but at the same time, what was the harm in just asking her," said Griffis. 

Police say if something is suspicious, call them before telling your neighbors on social media. 

"Often times we find people putting information on there, and it's ten, 15, 20, 30 minutes before we've gotten a phone call about it, when if we had gotten the information first, we could have responded more quickly," said Devlin. 

Investigators say there's no telling if interaction between neighbors may have stopped the Austin bomber.


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