I-TEAM: Citizen-run shopping safety group ‘taking back’ the streets

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CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has found citizen crime fighters protecting shoppers after a series of attacks, following through on a promise to help take back the streets.

Wednesday, volunteers escorted shoppers in and out of a grocery store in the Kamm’s Corners section of Cleveland. Cleveland Police stood by watching in the parking lot, too.

The shopping safety group just got started after three recent incidents. A 71-year-old woman putting groceries in her car was carjacked on the west side. Then days later, another was carjacked while shopping in that same complex. And, a 62-year-old woman on the east side found herself attacked while carrying groceries.

Lynn Foulkrod came up with the idea to organize shopping outings in groups. She created a group to plan times and places where people can gather to shop with others. Volunteers are also there to walk people to and from their cars.

Foulkrod said, “We’re gonna be scheduling different shopping trips on different days to different stores.”

She named the group The Robert Legacy in honor of her father since she said he used to help older folks go shopping.

She added, “But it’s not just for older people. There’s a single mom, we don’t care who it is, it could be a guy. Anyone can be a target.”

What about the recent targets? The I-TEAM checked on the case of  the senior citizen carjacked putting groceries in her car and on the case of the other woman carjacked in the same complex. Cleveland Police said no one was arrested yet, but detectives are making progress tracking leads.

On Wednesday, Chris Bolton shopped with the group. She said, “I feel safe and it’s a good experience. I’m so glad they’re rallying together.”

Lynn Wakaila also joined in, and she added, “It’s great,  you know I’ll be here in a heartbeat knowing that people are watching.”

Among those watching, was even Councilman Brian Kazy.

He said, “And the neighbors, the residents, came together. This is a great community effort.”

The group is based on Cleveland’s west side.

If you’d like to find out more about upcoming shopping outings or how you can help, you can visit the group’s Facebook page.

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