Two streets in Wellington will be hosting parties to meet neighbors and celebrate National Night Out.
National Night Out, this year on Tuesday, Aug. 2, started as a way to deter crime in residential neighborhoods. Now in its 28 year, the non-profit organization reported 37 million people participated in last year’s event. The idea is neighbors getting to know one another by stepping out one night of the year to meet.
“I started getting involved with it a couple of years ago because we got robbed,” said Lisa Rhodes, Wellington Watch director. “When someone wants to join our group we tell them to go out and meet five of their neighbors. Get to know what cars they drive, if they have kids that kind of thing.”
Knowing the typical comings and goings of neighbors is the best way to recognize when someone suspicious is on the street, Rhodes said.
“The police are always telling us to call if we see someone suspicious, but how would you know that if you’ve never met your neighbors,” she added.
The assumption that a strange car on the street may be a would-be burglar trying to determine which house to rob may not be far from the truth, and neighbors are wise to keep an eye on suspicious acting drivers, according to Sgt. John Urquhart, spokesman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.
“If people see a car or strangers on their street that look suspicious, they probably are. People know their neighborhoods better than we do,” he said in a . “Don’t hesitate, call 911.”