Is There a Way to Fight Crime in Sherman Hills?

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WILKES-BARRE -- One of the two little girls shot in Wilkes-Barre this weekend is now out of the hospital, and the district attorney says the child still in the hospital is getting better.

No one has been charged yet, and the shooting is raising questions about crime at the Sherman Hills Apartments, where the shooting happened.

There have been several instances of violent crime in Wilkes-Barre so far this year. The most recent was this weekend at the Sherman Hills Apartment Complex when a 5 year old and 2 year old were shot.

We spoke with people about what they believe should be done to stop things like that from happening again.

Harmony Webber lived in the Sherman Hills Apartments for two years. She moved about a year ago, after she says scenes like this shooting from Saturday became all too familiar.

"I left there because of the violence. That could have been my children. It could have been my friends' children. That's scary to know that," said Harmony Webber, of Wilkes-Barre.

Webber says shots are fired at Sherman Hills all the time. Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton tells Newswatch 16 that sometimes the people living in the apartments are not the ones named on the lease.

In order to live in Sherman Hills, you need to fill out a nine-page application that has questions about your credit history, finances, and your criminal history. But Webber says once she filled this out and was approved to live here, she was never asked about it again.

"All I did was fill the application out, waited for the apartment, and they gave me the keys. I didn't even have to do a background check," said Webber.

Jack Ziegler runs the Wilkes-Barre Housing Authority, which does not oversee Sherman Hills. Unlike Sherman Hills, the housing authority provides maintenance to tenants, and he says that helps keep tenants in check.

"We maintain our units as well. It's obvious sometimes when someone is living there and that's generally the way we find out," said Wilkes-Barre Housing Authority Executive Director Jack Ziegler.

Charlotte Raup, of the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch group, has another suggestion for the owners of Sherman Hills.

"A lot of our police officers are up there three, four times a day and it takes our guys off the streets. So maybe they need to get their own security in there," said Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch president Charlotte Raup.

"It's too bad already. You can try to keep the drugs out. You can try to keep the violence out, but there's nothing they can do. It's going to come there no matter what," said Webber.

Charlotte Raup from the crime watch group says the group used hold group meetings in Sherman Hills regularly. But when new owners came in, she says they were not supportive and the meetings there fizzled out.

Mayor Tom Leighton told Newswatch 16 he plans to meet with the owners of Sherman Hills. We tried calling the New York-based owners of Sherman Hills, but we couldn't reach them.