BEND, Ore. - (Update: Comments from resident, police)
A neighborhood on Bend's north end has seen a recent rise in thefts that many residents believe are tied to a nearby transient camp.
The residents say they are concerned about safety, and want to see something done to take care of the situation.
Bend police have been in the area, but Lt. Clint Burleigh said it's a complicated, city-wide issue.
“I do know that there are conversations happening between the police department and other people within the city," Burleigh said. "Trying to figure out what’s the right solution.”
Pam Sylvester is one of the residents who said Thursday she has had items stolen from her car and yard.
“There have been police officers searching the area," Sylvester said. "And still we haven’t found anything, but we’ve identified several cars and turned in license plates.”
She said she hopes the city and police can work together to come up with a solution to the problem.
Bend Mayor Pro Tem Sally Russell said the city is continuing to try to manage the situation and is looking for a solution that will benefit all involved.
Sylvester has had a hard time dealing with this situation and feels uneasy because of it.
“I feel on edge. I feel unsafe. I’m constantly looking out my window, nervous. I feel like i am hearing things the way I should not be hearing things," Sylvester said. "I can’t sleep at night, because I’m worried I’m going to miss a sound or somebody around the area.”
The homelessness issue is not unique to Bend, and is a problem for many cities across the country.
It is not as simple as going into camps and kicking people out of them, according to police.
It is a process that can take several days to move people out of an area, but then they usually relocate to another location and the process begins all over again.
The city leaders and police said they hope that they can come up with a solution that will keep everyone in the community safe.