Sylvan Grove Homeowners Association
Inwood, WV
Neighborhood Watch
Sylvan Grove is a member of the “Nation of Neighbors” website.  This website allows all
registered homeowners access to report any suspicious activity, vandalism, theft, etc. to
all other members who have enrolled in the program.

When any member logs into the website, a report can be filed notifying your neighbors of
a potential problem, and email is immediately sent to EVERY enrolled member with the
report details.

Nation of Neighbors website (click on the logo below):
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Neighborhood Watch Update, August 2015:

There have been some serious recent incidents to bring to your attention:

1.  Speeding through the development is becoming the norm rather than the exception.  
The majority of these are young adults or teens.  However, we have also noted a
surprising number of homeowners also speeding at all hours.  There is NO "safe time" to
speed on our streets.  We have homeowners out walking the streets day and night, as well
as children playing on or near our streets.  During late night hours, we have a dozen or
more deer and other animals crossing our streets - our NW patrollers have seen many a
vehicle nearly hit deer in the middle of the night.  In fact, even our NW patrollers have
endured "close calls" with deer and they drive at or below our posted speed limit.

Bottom Line: speeding and passing other cars on our streets is unacceptable at ANY time.  
Our NW patrollers are collecting vehicle plate numbers for those found habitually speeding
or driving recklessly on our streets and we WILL turn this information over to BCSD if
such behavior continues.  Be considerate of your neighbors and be safe.  It doesn't take
THAT much longer to travel the one mile on First Street at 25 MPH.

2.  Homeowners are reminded the use of 3 or 4 wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) is NOT
permitted on the roads or common grounds within Sylvan Grove in accordance with
county ordnance.  The only exception allowed is homeowners using personal ATVs with
plows during winter to assist in snow removal.  Recreational use of 3 or 4 wheel ATVs
will be reported to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department (BCSD) and may result in
confiscation of these vehicles.

A LARGE volume of homeowner complaints have also been received regarding children
using mini-bikes, "pocket" bikes and ATVs on our roads.  In a number of instances,
children are riding these motorized vehicles without helmets or at night without lights.  
Some reports have noted more than one child on the vehicle.  In many cases, excessive
speed and reckless driving have been reported, endangering the safety of the children,
motorists, pedestrians, pets, children on bicycles and personal property.   

Per BCSD guidance,
homeowners are STRONGLY encouraged to contact BCSD
immediately when such incidents occur
, as it's only a matter of time before an accident
involving these children and vehicles occurs given such reckless behavior.  

All homeowners are reminded - YOU are responsible for the behavior and safety of your
children.  BCSD advises that parents may be cited for allowing these actions and these
bikes may be confiscated.

Just last month, a 12-year old child was killed in an ATV accident in
Bunker Hill.  Parents, please take responsibility for your children's actions if
you permit them to use any of these vehicles.  

Bottom Line:  If these incidents continue, the WV Department of Health of Human
Resources Child Protective Services division
WILL be contacted to report parents who
sanction these actions.

3.  Thanks to the volunteer efforts of our NW patrollers and their professionalism, we've
noted a significant drop in petty criminal activity over the last couple of years, i.e., egging
of houses or vehicles, petty vandalism, destruction of mailboxes, etc.  However, it does
still occur at times.  

This is MOST important - if you see criminal activity occurring or simply suspicious
activity, do NOT hesitate to call BCSD.  We hear over and again - "I don't want to face
retribution for calling the police".  First, the chances of retribution are slim at best and if
this is truly a concern, you can always call anonymously.  Second, only WE can retake
and retain control of our neighborhood by working together and with BCSD to mitigate
crime.  When criminals know they are being watched and calls to BCSD WILL be made
by homeowners, crime rates reduce significantly for the community.

Bottom Line:  Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Be aware, take care of
each other, and do NOT be afraid to help us retake and retain our community.

4.  Drug Activity: NW and BCSD are very aware of a few homes in our community
where drug activity takes place.  When drug activity moves beyond a single resident and
into our streets, our schools and other homes in the community, it moves from simple
recreational drug usage in the privacy of a home to an unacceptable situation.  If you are a
homeowner and drug activity is occurring in your home, be warned: you ARE being
watched and it's only a matter of time.  If you are a homeowner and see drug activity in
the community: we implore you to call BCSD with this information.  If you see vehicles in
the community appearing to engage in drug activity, take down the license plate number
and contact BCSD and NW.  

Bottom line:  NW, BCSD and other law enforcement agencies are working together to
identify all of these homes, vehicles and individuals involved in drug activity in our
community.  We need the help of ALL homeowners to help end this in our neighborhood.  
Remember - many times, theft that occurs in our community is directly tied to drug
activity.  As we eliminate drugs from our neighborhood, we will significantly reduce theft
of our personal property as well.

5.  Railroad tracks:  A reminder - no one should be walking on the tracks adjacent to our
community.  These tracks are private property of the railroad.  While many of you
walking the tracks do so simply for recreation, there is also vandalism and other
criminal/questionable activities occurring there.  Our local schools have announced over
their PA systems to students to stay off the tracks.  Fines WILL be levied by the railroad
if their security personnel discover anyone on the tracks.  It IS a safety issue for the
railroad.

Bottom line:  Please stay off the tracks and ensure your children/family/friends know to
do the same.

Finally a few notes:  

  • Feedback from NW patrols and homeowners indicate teens and young adults are
    using bicycles and walking on our streets at very late hours and in many cases, are
    suspected of much of the vandalism taking place in the community.  This problem
    always increases as the weather warms and school lets out.  We implore parents to
    ensure their children are home at these hours and not roaming the streets.

  • Please remember to keep your outside lights on to help illuminate yards to assist
    deputies and Neighborhood Watch patrollers.  If possible, please add additional
    lighting, motion sensors and/or alarms to your yards and outdoor buildings.  Lock
    ALL your buildings - homes, sheds, garages, trailers, etc.  

  • Please be aware that our NW patrols will increase in frequency as the weather
    warms and that our patrollers WILL be using spotlights to illuminate outdoor
    building and yards.  Our NW patrol cars will have signs identifying them as part of
    our neighborhood watch.    

  • Our neighborhood has a few empty houses, some of which have been seriously
    vandalized.  We suspect significant drug activity takes place in these empty
    houses.  If you see anyone entering one of these homes, immediately notify the
    Sheriff's Department and the NW Coordinator.   

Please help keep the neighborhood safe.
 Report ANY incidents to the Berkeley County
Sheriff's Office
promptly at 9-1-1 for an immediate emergency or at 304-267-7000
for non-emergency assistance.  

If you witness suspicious or criminal activity, FIRST call BCSD.  If NW members are on
patrol, don't hesitate to flag the member down and inform them of what you've seen/heard.