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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -
Residential burglaries are on the rise in north Florence. Since 2005, the number of burglaries in the area has nearly doubled.
Police report more than 200 burglaries just this year.
The community is taking a stand against crime.
Residents met with Florence Police to discuss the string of recent burglaries in the area on Monday night.
Police said they are closing in on those responsible for breaking into homes across the city. They said they need the community's help to get those responsible behind bars.
"It just takes the final piece of evidence, which we hope will come from a citizen seeing just the right car, just the right person at the right time, to call and report it. We need that missing piece of the puzzle, and it takes the community to fill in those gaps," said Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler.
Every seat was filled with people concerned for the safety of their family and their neighbors.
"This is a community issue. It affects us all. We're all in this together, and we really need to help each other out," said Jeremy Stafford.
Stafford is a victim, and he's not alone. He said Monday night's meeting was an eye-opener.
"The fact that there are multiple break-ins, people getting broken into multiple times, and the patterns and frequency of break-ins," he said.
Like others, Stafford is re-establishing his neighborhood's Community Watch Program.
"Ultimately, a lot of it falls on our shoulders to be the eyes and ears for the police department, so the more proactive we are, the easier it is for them to close those gaps," Stafford said.
"I hope these folks will pick up the phone and call police. I also hope they'll be better neighbors and look out for one another. I hope they're going to be aware of what's going on in their neighborhood," said Tyler.
Another community meeting has been set for January 10.