"People going into our garages, people walking through our yards," said Arlene Shivers.
Now Shivers says its a much safer place to live at.
"Almost instantly our little petty crimes, they basically stopped," said the vice president of the Old Town Abilene neighborhood association.
All because a group of neighbors joined together to form a neighborhood alliance.
The Old Town Abilene Neighborhood Association stretches for about six blocks, where neighbors watch each others homes and make sure there are no uninvited guests.
They work hand in hand with police to ensure their neighborhood is safe.
Abilene police agree.
They've met with residents around the city to encourage them to become active in their neighborhood watch associations.
So far there are about six formal groups in Abilene, but police say there still need to be more.
"What we hope to do is have our neighborhood watch groups to be our eyes and ears in the neighborhood when our patrol cars aren't there," Said Lt. Brad McGary, of the Abilene Police Dept.
Crime has risen in the past year in the Key City- car burglaries and home thefts are among the highest.
"Along the freeway we've seen an increase in vehicle burglaries and in the south central and north central parts of town we've seen an increase in residential burglaries," said McGary.
That's why they're encouraging residents to use the latest technology to inform police and their community.
Programs like raids online show where and when specific crimes occur around Abilene, but first they have to be reported.
That's where neighborhood watch groups come in.
"By having a neighborhood watch group we know who belongs in the neighborhood and who doesnt belong in the neighborhood," said Dennis Svab, whose a member of his neighborhoods' watch in Abilene.
Which has made a world of a difference for residents like shivers- who now knows her neighbors have her back.
"I believe it takes neighbors watching out for neighbors, that helps the police," said Shivers.
Anyone with a smartphone can download the Raids Online App.
Police encourage anyone who sees a crime in progress to immediately call 911 and don't encourage approaching the person in question.