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Uptick in crime has Hyde Park neighbors seeking solutions to make area safer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- “I was nervous, I was stunned, I was shocked,” said Keri Flanagan.

Flanagan says she's traumatized after an attempted carjacking Sunday night. The 71-year-old woman is the latest victim of an attempted carjacking in KC’s Hyde Park neighborhood near 44th and Harrison.

Many people who live in the neighborhood say they no longer feel safe here after multiple robberies, assaults, and carjackings over the last few weeks.
Now they`re hoping to beef up patrols and take some other security measures to help with the crime.

“I came home at 10:50 on Sunday night, I had forgotten to turn on my porch light, and my dome light was not working, so I opened my car door and I was sitting there trying to figure out why it wasn`t coming on,” Flanagan said.

She has lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood for 12 years, but says the crime seems to be getting worse.

"All of a sudden there was this individual standing there, and he says, `get out of the car, get out of the car`,” Flanagan described.

She got out and yelled for her neighbor.

“I said, 'help! I need some help! And he came over and basically scared the guy away, he had a walking stick that his kids had made him, and he was going for walk, so he started battering on the window,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan says that scared the suspect off.

"He escaped out the passenger side, thankfully dropped my purse," added Flanagan.

Police say they are aware of the issues, and say there has been an uptick across the metro area. There have been two juveniles charged and detectives are developing suspects on the others.

"We have experienced some carjackings in the Kansas City, Missouri , area lately, they are all actively being investigated by detectives, and it`s common for detectives to review other cases involving the same type of crime to see if there any relation also," said Captain Stacey Graves, with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

Flanagan says the officer who responded to her call said she was in the neighborhood for that very reason.

"Before we even finished talking to 911, the patrol officer showed up, she was in the neighborhood because of this kind of outbreak of violence and carjackings," said Flanagan, "That night she said, since there`s so much going on I thought I`d just drive around. I know there`s a lot of issues going on in Hyde Park, but I never felt that I`d have to be afraid to be in my own driveway in front of my own house."

Flanagan says luckily no one was hurt and there wasn't any damage.

"Right now I feel pretty scared about everything," Flanagan said. "Last night I went out again, and I got home much earlier, but I put my bright lights on, I looked between all the cars, I was extremely cautious."

Now the neighborhood is discussing stepping up patrols, and telling everyone to have their porch lights on every night. Some people are even offering to walk with their neighbors if they ever feel unsafe.