Meeting scheduled to address crime concerns in West Ashley

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A meeting was scheduled for Wednesday to address crime concerns in West Ashley.

The meeting was organized by State Representative Wendell Gilliard who says he's been listening to his constituents.

"Well, it's definitely off the charts," Gilliard said Wednesday afternoon.

Gilliard says Monday morning's home invasion and sex assault in Old Windermere in part, prompted him to call the meeting to address crime in West Ashley.

"It comes to a time and a point where you have to show that you have solidarity in this community and we're prepared to make a statement to let everybody know we're now on watch," Gilliard said.

West Ashley resident Joe Nowicki is one of those who is watching what's happening in his neighborhood.

"Unfortunately I think crime is increasing everywhere and West Ashley is no exception," Nowicki said.

After hearing about some break-ins in his neighborhood, Nowicki installed a video surveillance system outside his home.

"It only took about a couple of weeks before I actually caught somebody on camera," Nowicki said.

Knowicki's cameras showed someone tugging on the door handle of his truck and then running away.

The Charleston Police Department provided the latest West Ashley crime statistics for Jan. 1 through May 21 from 2017 and for the same time period in 2016.

There have been 80 reported burglaries compared to 46 for the same time last year.

There were 117 thefts from cars reported this year compared to 105 for the same time last year.

There have been eight forcible rapes reported this year compared to five this time last year.

The robbery rate is down a bit from 18 this year compared to 20 this time last year.

Police say when it comes to break-ins residents can do their part by locking their doors

"All these things when you start doing them they make your neighborhood and your area not convenient for these crimes of opportunity and they'll go somewhere else," Charleston Police Lt. Jason Bruder said.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office also provided us some statistics for the areas they patrol in West Ashley.

The numbers are from January 1 through May 24 for this year and last year.

So far this year 24 burglaries have been reported compared to 58 for this time last year.

There have been four robberies reported compared to six this time last year.

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