Fed up with the property crime in their Denver neighborhood, one couple has set up surveillance cameras, hoping to catch the thieves in the act. Then they want to publish their faces on a billboard for all to see.
The crime at Athmar Park just never seems to stop. Cars are being rifled through … Vehicles and bikes are being stolen … Even plants are being dug up and taken right from the ground.
And enough is enough, say residents Phil DeJong and Alicia Rushing, who’ve been living in the Denver neighborhood for about three years. They’ve reported the crimes to the police, of course, but the couple has also devised a two-part plan to catch the culprits and hopefully deter other would-be thieves. It’s called shaming.
Back in December, DeJong and Rushing installed surveillance cameras on their property, and now they’re waiting for the next incident to take place so they can publish the criminals’ faces on a billboard near the neighborhood — a billboard they’re calling a “wall of shame.”
Such a move would hopefully draw the attention of people who know the perpetrators, which would result in potential arrests, or — at the very least — some accountability.
The only draw-back is that advertising on billboards costs about $2,000 a month. So DeJong and Rushing hope that other crime-frustrated neighbors in Athmar Park would be willing to pool together their resources to make the billboard a reality.
“I’d like to live in a nice, peaceful neighborhood where I could go to sleep at night and wake up and know that my house isn’t going to get broken into or my shed isn’t going to be broken into or my car,” Rushing told CBS Denver. “Even if my car is parked in the street, it would be nice to know that when I wake up in the morning the things that I left in my car are still going to be in my car.”
Athmar Park is bordered by S. Federal Blvd. on the west, the Platte River on the east, W. Alameda Ave. on the north, and W. Mississippi Ave. on the south. The area does seem to see more than its fair share of property crimes. Check out The Denver Post’s crime statistics for the Athmar Park neighborhood here!
What do you think? Would you support a Wall of Shame in your neighborhood? Do you think it would actually help reduce the crime rate? Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Featured image (artist’s rendering) courtesy of Fox 31