|Updated: 8/21/2012 9:00 am
||Published: 8/20/2012 4:00 pm
Tragedy has an unusual way of bringing people together.
Neighbors of Bob and Nancy Strait have taken their safety into their own hands, following Nancy’s brutal murder and Bob’s death just a few months after. Now, this community is determined not to let criminals take their sense of security.
The memorial in front of Bob and Nancy Strait's home is a constant reminder of the tragedy that took place here just a few months ago. Because of that, neighbors aren't taking any chances.
Driving through this quiet neighborhood, most people would have no clue that a tragedy occurred here.
Back in March, Bob and Nancy Strait were attacked inside their home. Nancy would die and her husband would pass away two months later from what relatives call a broken heart.
It’s an unspeakable act of violence that shook the neighborhood and many others to its core. Sick of feeling vulnerable, neighbors organized a watch program.
“My neighbors a half a block down contacted their neighbors a half a block down, and the ones that lived two blocks away contacted their neighbors,” says organizer Charles Wheeler.
Their tenacity is quickly spreading from house to house. Using his eyes, his cell and his truck, Wheeler is determined to send a message to criminals.
“It's about Tulsa, and it's about being a citizen that's responsible. It doesn't matter if I'm in Broken Arrow and I see somebody peeking in a window, I'm calling the police,” says Wheeler.
Neighbors say they’ve seen a drop in crime, although it does still occur from time to time. One of them recently caught someone stealing items from the Strait memorial. They confronted the thief and the items were returned.
“Sometimes I will just take those 5 minutes extra to go around the block just to see if there is something out of place,” says neighbor Myron Washington.
The group meets once a month and often invites city councilors and the mayor to attend.
“If we have every other house, we could cover the city of Tulsa,” says Washington.
“You might be the factor that could save somebody's life and you never know it,” says Wheeler.
If you’re worried about crime in your neighborhood and would like to organize your own neighborhood watch, you can contact the Crime Commission at 918-585-5209.