West Nashville complex begins 'Project Leave The Lights On' initiative

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 20:36:04-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A West Nashville apartment complex is taking a proactive approach to prevent car break-ins or thefts from happening to its residents.

Views on the Cumberland I and II Multi-Site Community Director Tanya Mowell sent tenants an e-mail asking them to join the 'Project Leave the Lights On' initiative to take a stand against the crime.

To date, there have been four car break-ins at the community she manages.

She is asking her residents to turn their lights on in the evenings to help illuminate the building and parking lots. The maintenance team is conducting nightly light inspections to replace burned out bulbs.

"What we've noticed is with the crime in the area, buildings that are lit up are less likely to be hit," Mowell said.

The team has also reached to a local electrician to address any light bulb issues that cannot be fixed by a replacement. In addition, the complex and other managers in the west Nashville and Bellevue area have requested additional patrols throughout the community in the evenings.

She hopes the initiative will help as they plan to bring in trail cameras throughout the property.

"We're a smaller company and just don't have the means to invest in a $50,000 to $70,000 camera system, so we were able to purchase trail cameras. With lights left on, it would be almost impossible to break in and not get a clear facial image," Mowell added.

"The more light there is, if there is folks that have video cameras any kind of surveillance system it's easier to identify those suspects," Sgt. Chad Young of Metro Nashville Police Department concurred.

Sgt. Young said the recent trend is juveniles targeting vehicles that are easily accessible to whether keys are left inside or left unlocked.

Vehicle thefts in Davidson County have increased over the years. In 2016, there were 1,746 stolen cars. By last year, the number spiked to 3,114.

The precincts with the most car thefts are Hermitage at 576 and South at 615. Both precincts are the largest in Davidson County.

While there are options to try and prevent crime, the biggest way to avoid being a statistic is to park smart.

"The biggest deterrent is not keeping your keys in the car, locking your vehicles and make sure there is nothing valuable that could be seen from the window," Young said.

One way you can try to curb crime in your community is to start a neighborhood watch. The process is simple by registering through the National Neighborhood Watch's official website.

For those in Metro, click here to learn how to create a Neighborhood Watch.