A BRAZEN break-in three years ago means Nicole Eggleton knows the value of good neighbours.
The Glenfield resident recalls the moment she was woken at 3am after someone broke into her garage.
But fortunately an eagle-eyed next door neighbour saw the theft and reported it to police.
“I’d only just gone to bed, but my neighbour had seen someone walk past their window and gotten up to go have a look,” Ms Eggleton said.
Thanks to the fast-acting teamwork, the bike was retrieved in lightning speed.
“Straight away we got in the car, rang the police and within half an hour we had got the bike back,” Ms Eggleton said.
“We were very lucky, if they hadn’t see them, we wouldn’t have got the bike back.”
A founding member and treasurer of Wagga Neighbourhood Watch, Ms Eggleton believes her story is an example of how the city’s crime could be reduced through getting to know the people living next door.
““I am been in the street for 20 years and the neighbours all know each other,” she said.
“If anything is different or out of whack, straight away we know something isn’t right.”
Members of Wagga police and neighbourhood watch were in Kooringal on Monday to promote community co-operation, as the inagural Neighbourhood Watch Week kicked off across Australia.
The awareness campaign comes hot on the heels of startling statistics of property crime in Wagga
The city ranks seventh in the state for stealing from a vehicle or unsecured dwelling from June 2015 to June 2016.
More than two home break-ins a day were recorded for that same period, three times higher than the rest of the state.
Senior Constable Peter Narouz said groups like Wagga Neighbourhood Watch were proven to be effective in combating city crime.
Wagga stood as an example of how neighbourhood watch groups could adapt and grow with social media, he said.
“It’s been very beneficial to Wagga as a community,” Senior Constable Narouz said.
“I believe with people taking an interest in their neighbours and what is going on in their street, we will be able to see more of reduction of crime.”
Kooringal mother Rachel Wood said she was signing up to Wagga Neighbourhood Watch because she wanted to keep the city a safe place for her children to grow up in.
“We haven’t been aware of any theft in the area, but we want to keep this area safe,” she said.