Charkeithia Moore remembers the day she found her back door kicked in last fall.
"I was crying and screaming because I knew the kids were home," she said.
The thieves struck in the middle of a late September afternoon and stole a television from a bedroom and tried to pry another one off the wall in the living room.
She had another break-in in late January when someone smashed a bedroom window and stole a computer without even entering her house.
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"If my car isn't here, they think there's nobody home."
Moore has lived for about a dozen years on Prince Street, which fronts Little Richard Penniman Boulevard.
Her next-door neighbor, Stacy Jenkins, also had two recent burglaries, including one on Jan. 25, the same day Moore's computer was taken.
Jenkins lost jewelry, a laptop and food out of her refrigerator.
"Italian sausage, hamburger meat and steak. They took body wash," Jenkins said. "It's like they came into our house and lived."
Jenkins, a Mercer University graduate, moved in about three years ago to the row of newer houses built just off campus during the Jack Ellis administration.
She traces the uptick in crime to the August reopening of Little Richard Penniman Boulevard that was rerouted as part of the downtown connector project.
"You can revitalize downtown all you want to, but you want to feel safe too," Jenkins said.
Pedestrian traffic headed to the Tindall Mart on Nussbaum Avenue has increased, she said.
Jenkins also worries after four shootings last weekend in neighboring Tindall Heights.
It got the attention of law enforcement.
"We have stepped up patrols in that area, I do know that," said Lt. Randy Gonzalez, public information officer for the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.
Although Jenkins and Moore say there have been multiple burglaries and thefts along Prince, Elizabeth and Henrietta streets and down Elkton Place, including a total of four in their homes alone, only three showed up in reports The Telegraph receives to publish monthly crime maps on macon.com.
"There are a lot of variances on how they are reported," Gonzalez said.
For instance, if someone takes a bicycle from someone's yard, it won't make the "part 1" crimes the sheriff's office reports as part of its crime analysis, he said.
The Telegraph has requested a list of crimes reported in that neighborhood since August. Also, the sheriff's office's annual crime report, typically out by late January or early February, has not been released yet.
Jenkins is concerned about the new Mercer University loft project going up on the other side of the housing project.
Mercer University Police Chief Gary Collins said his department's territory will expand once the complex opens.
Some of his officers also responded to the four shootings in Tindall Heights reported last weekend that Bibb investigators said stemmed from an uninvited party guest knocking over a barbecue grill late on Feb. 20.
"We help the sheriff's office and they help us, and that's an important relationship," Collins said.
He had not heard of a spike in burglaries near where Jenkins and Moore live.
"We do know that students live there and we patrol by those areas," he said.
Collins considers Mercer University Drive and the Little Richard Penniman Boulevard a buffer between the neighborhood and the campus.
"We never had any major issues with Tindall Heights residents," Collins said recently.
With the security concerns Jenkins already sees, she worries about the safety of students.
"I'm afraid for them, so that's something they're going to have to address."
She lauded the work of Bibb deputies who have expanded patrols based on her phone calls.
"Every time we call them, they do come through, but I think it needs to be a more conscious effort on the city's part to make it a regular routine," she said.
Weekend gunfire is common, Jenkins said.
"A lot of it is gang activity," she said. "There's just no surveillance, so it's like the wild, wild West."
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 and follow her on Twitter