Yakima neighbors are standing up to gangs in the area - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima neighbors are standing up to gangs in the area

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Gangs are a growing problem in the valley but some neighbors are taking this matter into their own hands. This group calls themselves the North Seventh Street Block Watch.

Twenty-four hours a day someone is watching either from their porch or inside their home, they know what's going on.

"It's our own way of standing up to them by being observant, I think we don't have to be physically quicker, faster, stronger, or anything we can just have eyes, ears and cell phones," said Ron Bonlender, a member of the watch group.

Neighbors are tired of being victims of crime. They have witnessed burglaries, drug deals and even murder, just feet from where they live. Since then, they have taken action.

Neighbors are recording the suspicious activity they see, filling a log with what is going on in the area and sometimes they even catch it on camera.

"Sometimes they're armed so we got to be armed in our own way, I don't want to sound confrontational about that but you never know," said K.C. Webber, a member of the watch group.

There are consequences. Neighborhood watch members know the troublemakers and they know them.

"It makes you uncomfortable and you don't want to feel that way, you just want to feel comfortable, don't want confrontations in your own neighborhood," said Bonlender.

"But I'm not going to live in fear either, I'm going to be prepared because like I said they're ready to do what they want to do and were ready to do what we need to do," said Webber.

Neighbors say crime has gone down and graffiti has disappeared. Police say groups like this are making a difference in the city. 

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