Waldo neighbors meet with police to address recent spike in burglaries

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- While other reported crimes have gone down, officers say there has been a spike in burglaries in the Waldo neighborhood. There could even be some they don`t even know about.

At a meeting Tuesday night, FOX 4 learned some folks are posting about crime on social media, but not calling 911. A police sergeant with the KCPD says officers don’t look at one closed group neighborhood page on Facebook, where a lot of the suspicious activity gets reported. A neighborhood page is also where a post was made which made a man felt targeted, leading to calls for posting etiquette.

Angie Lile is very active in the Waldo neighborhood.

"It`s my home and I`m very proud of it. I love all the all the neighbors," said Lile.

She`s the president of the Waldo Tower Home Owners Association, and is very much aware of the recent spike in burglaries in Waldo. She is making sure the issue gets addressed.

"How do we work with police in a better way so that we can make it safer for everybody?" Lile wondered.

Last month, officers arrested four suspects connected to a burglary ring. Lile applauds this, saying people need to be armed with the right tools to keep burglars at bay. They went over that at a meeting Tuesday night where they got tips like trimming back trees and bushes so criminals don’t have hiding spots, security doors, and the right amount of lighting.

Vigilance is also key, but in at least one case it appears to have backfired.

Someone posted on a Waldo neighborhood page a post about a suspicious looking man and the police were called. As it turned out the man was just waiting for his kid to get out of school.

"We do not want to see our neighbors incorrectly profile someone especially on social media where that person`s reputation can be tarnished in a way that`s just not something they can recover from," said Lile.

She briefly mentioned the topic at Tuesday night’s says it will be addressed more at a later date. While officers are not discouraging folks from whipping out their camera phones when something doesn`t look right, they are cautioning residents against simply posting it, but not dialing 911.

“The purpose to take a video or picture would be to help us with our investigation. Not to put it on Facebook. Not to do any of that stuff. It`s just that when we show up at your house we know we`re talking to the right person,” said Sgt. Sebastian Hanriot

"Maybe just kind of keeping that information to ourselves until the police needs it would be the simple solution," said Lile, who worries that posts on social media sometimes exacerbate a problem, and may not actually be crime. For example, the previously mentioned man waiting for his daughter who someone thought looked suspicious and posted his picture.

A date to discuss that issue and posting etiquette is expected to take place in April, but it hasn't been set yet.