Site a hub for Neighborhood Watch groups

Carmel Valley has seen a boost in Neighborhood Watch groups since a pair of home invasion burglaries startled communities into action early in the year. Now a local resident has found a way to connect all of those watch groups on one informative Carmel Valley Neighborhood Watch Program Web site at


Pacific Highlands Ranch Neighborhood Watch block captain Aaron Johnson created the Web site, launched on July 6, with help from partner Cara Heilman.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Johnson said. “The key is getting all the neighborhoods involved.”

Johnson’s own involvement with the site has been extensive, said neighbor Andy Strasner.

“He’s done an incredible amount of work in organizing the site and the content,” Strasner said. “He’s set up a successful site not only for our community but for all other Carmel Valley communities.”

The site still needs input from Carmel Valley’s numerous neighborhoods, which are broken down by nearest school.

Neighborhood block captains can sign up with their contact information. Don Parcher, the Neighborhood Watch captain of the Carmel Creek/Del Mar Highlands neighborhood 1 area already has.

Parcher, who has been a block captain for 16 years, said what makes a Neighborhood Watch program valuable is that it encourages neighbors to get to know one another and keep an eye on each other’s property.

Parcher said the Web site is a wonderful way to keep all those neighbors connected and share essential crime prevention information.

“This type of Web site is probably the most useful when it enables residents to learn about current crime concerns so they can be on the lookout for that type of crime,” Parcher said, referencing the home invasion burglaries that targeted women in their garages.

The Web site includes tips for creating a Neighborhood Watch and other ways to keep your community safe.

A section called “What should I do when…" breaks down all kinds of scenarios from emergencies to solicitors to suspicious behavior. All the local numbers to call are listed.

Also posted to the site are alerts on recent crime incidents, Northwestern Division newsletters and a place for people to recommend babysitters and vendors they trust.

People can also make their own incident postings. One resident made note about a suspicious car on his street. He also posted a photo of the car and took down the car’s license plate number. He also got a good description of the driver.

Johnson’s believes there is nothing wrong with being nosy. Being aware of what’s going on in your neighborhood is the first and easiest step in preventing crime, he said.