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WINNIPEG - Close to 100 Island lakes residents gathered at the Island Lakes Community School Wednesday night for a neighbourhood watch meeting hosted by the Winnipeg Police Service.

WINNIPEG - Close to 100 Island lakes residents gathered at the Island Lakes Community School Wednesday night for a neighborhood watch meeting hosted by the Winnipeg Police Service.

Lindsay Wilson, chair of the Island Lakes Residents Group, said the group organized the meeting in response to a growing concern over petty crime in the area.

“A number of incidents, mostly home break-ins and rifling through automobiles,” said Wilson. “It’s been going on for some time like the rest of Winnipeg.”

CTV News spoke with one resident, Antonella Minenna, who has lived in Island Lakes for over 13 years. She said she has noticed an increase in crime since moving in.

“I noticed in the past 2-3 years it’s been worse,” said Minenna. “A lot of break-ins and people coming in at night, looking into the cars to see if anything is in there.”

Minenna said her bike was stolen out of her garage last summer and her front yard was vandalized. Since then, she’s installed cameras around the house, and leaves lights on to deter criminals.

“We’re more vigilant around here now because of (the crime),” said Minenna. “But we can’t be up all hours of the night trying to protect our property.”

During the neighborhood watch meeting, Constable Chika Modozie with the Winnipeg Police Service gave residents tips on how to make sure their homes are protected and less inviting for criminals.

“Proper lighting,” recommended Modozie. “Ensure if you’re leaving for a holiday, your neighbours know and they help you shovel your driveway. Different things like that.”

Other recommendations include bringing your garage door opener inside when you get home, and discourage people posting pictures on social media while on vacation. Police suggest you always report suspicious activity in your area.

Wilson believes petty crime occurs in all areas of the city. He hopes the meeting will help build a stronger community, and help to deter crime.

“We’re no different than anybody else,” said Wilson. “Other communities have held these evenings as well, so we’re just bringing it to our residents.”