Block Watches keep close eye as crime picks up - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Block Watches keep close eye as crime picks up

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"This is crazy and I can't believe it is so close."

That's what was going through Crystal Waller's mind when police responded to a shooting at R&D Auto Sales Tuesday morning.  She works as a waitress next door.

"One ambulance showed up, and then another ambulance showed up and then a fire truck and then six or eight cop cars," says Waller. "Then the detectives were coming over to check our cameras because they said they might have him on camera. It was insane."

Police found one man, 35-year-old Ricky Layson, on the ground suffering from a gun shot wound.  He was rushed to the hospital but later died from his injuries.  Now Toledo investigators are looking for a man who is wanted for Layson's murder.
 
The shooting happened close to the coverage area of the Willys Parkway Toledo Block Watch group.  On Monday night officers responded to another shooting that sent one person to the hospital, at a carryout near Nebraska and Hawley.  Members say it's scary to see the ongoing crime, even as they work to protect their neighborhoods.

Block watch members are never encouraged to intervene in criminal activity.  But keeping a close eye and ear on what's going on can help police solve crimes.

"If you can identify one person, even by a pierced ear or a bracelet or a tattoo somewhere, it makes it a lot easier for  the police," says Tina Smith who leads up the block watch group.

It also puts criminals and crooks on high alert.  These neighbors say they're watching out for each other, to make their neighborhoods safer and their community stronger.

"We have to be the eyes and the ears of the police. Because if we're not, they do not know what is going on out there," says Scott.

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