WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – Several burglaries, car break-ins and a double homicide in West Ashley have homeowners speaking up and pushing for tougher crime prevention in a community crime forum Monday night.
While attending Monday night’s West Ashley community crime forum, Nikia Noisette recalled the horrible double homicide that happened right outside of her door.
“I heard gunshots and was like those are not fireworks,” Noisette said. “I went out, when I got over there I saw the 2 bodies laying on the ground and my heart fell apart.”
Two teenagers, 15-year-old Talekuz Williams and 17-year-old Juquel Young were left shot and killed on a basketball court at Ashley Oaks Apartment July 15. This tragedy is what led Noisette to Monday’s meeting.
“I think it’s our job, our community, we need to get out and find what’s going on with these children,” she said.
The community forum was also a platform for Maggie Kilgore. Kilgore used to teach Williams and Young. Her mission was not to ask police to step in, but neighbors and the school district.
“They need more than what they’re getting right now from our community from our schools,” Kilgore said. “If you have a night off one evening, bring a few basketballs down there and start talking to them because they’re great kids.”
Kilgore also believes it starts with the schools.
“I think the kids need resources, I think it starts in the schools,” Kilgore said. “I think the schools need resources, they need supplies, they need support of the teachers to do activities, they need funding for field trips to expose the kids to different opportunities. They need volunteers in the community to open up job opportunities for the kids.”
In recent weeks, the West Ashley community experienced a string of crimes; burglaries, car break-ins, and murder.
Police arrested a 13-year-old in connection to six home burglaries and two car break-ins in the Shadowmoss Plantation neighborhood last week. Read more here. Alot of homeowners attending Monday’s meeting wanted to know how police plan on combating this crime.
Charleston police were at the forefront of the meeting and addressed the break-ins and burglaries. According to police, 153 car break-ins happened in West Ashley in 2017. Of those 153, 125 cars were unlocked and 28 were actually locked. Police say it starts with locking your doors.
“Don’t leave your gun on the front seat of your unlocked car,” said CPD Chief, Luther Reynolds.
Police also reported that 52 guns were reported stolen from the unlocked cars and zero were stolen from the locked cars that were broken into.
Police are encouraging homeowners to do the following to avoid being a victim:
- Locking the car doors
- Don’t leave handguns in the front seat of the car
- Take all valuables out of your car (laptops, ipads, cellphones etc.)
- Have a good lighting around your house
- Have a well landscaped yard
- Use cameras, if possible
When it comes to the shootings in the West Ashley area, police say they are upping their patrols in the area. They say they are spending more ours patrolling the neighborhoods. They also encourage homeowners to use one of the 17 traffic enforcement plans. This involved people calling 911 and reporting traffic violations going on in the area.
Police say they have issued 160 traffic citations and warning from complaints from homeowners that came into the office.
Many homeowners believe the police are doing a wonderful job, but believe it takes more than the police to help limit the crime.
“It’s an epidemic,” Kilgore said. “You can’t just stop here, these kids need mentors and guidance.”
“The kids need guidance and need to know they are important too,” Noisette said.
With the help of police and the community, homeowners believe things can turn around in West Ashley.