Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 1.20.37 PMBounded by parks, a major retail/business corridor and an interstate, the Cherokee Triangle is one of Louisville’s most popular and heavily transited areas.

Unfortunately, that popularity extends to thieves drawn by its bohemian nonchalance as to who passes through. Hence, the Triangle – bordered by Eastern Parkway, Bardstown Road and Grinstead Drive – has experienced a higher-than-usual number of burglaries and other nonviolent crimes during the past 18 months or so.

(Full disclosure: I live on Cherokee Parkway in the Triangle, so I know of what I speak.)

cta_mapFor example, police helicopters were dispatched last Tuesday night, apparently in hot pursuit of car thieves, from what I could piece together from neighbors. Friends living on Cherokee Road told us their car was stolen off the street. Thieves made off with another car on Longest Avenue a few houses from where we live.

Last week, our street got a letter from our Block Watch captains alerting us to a Crime Prevention Forum tonight at Atherton High School. The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Atherton, which is at 3900 Dundee Road.

From the letter:

Cherokee Triangle is a wonderful neighborhood. but did you know that multiple neighbors on our block have been robbed in the last few months? Cars, computers, TVs, jewelry, bikes, etc. have been stolen. We all need to work together to prevent it from continuing.

But Cherokee Triangle is not alone in experiencing a spike in crime, as other Division 5 neighborhoods — including Deer Park — have reported a rash of burglaries in recent months.

The event tonight will address all of Division 5, said Maj. Mark Fox, Louisville Metro Police Fifth Division commander. Division 5 includes the following neighborhoods: Belknap, Bonnycastle, Bowman, Brownsboro Zorn, Cherokee Gardens, Cherokee Seneca, Cherokee Triangle, Clifton, Clifton Heights, Crescent Hill, Deer Park, Gardiner Lane, Hawthorne, Hayfield Dundee, Highlands, Highlands Douglass, Irish Hill, Rock Creek and Tyler Park.

Each of Louisville’s eight police divisions is holding a forum, sponsored by PNC Bank, Fox said, and each is custom tailored to the area. The Crime Prevention Forum tonight will be dedicated to recognizing Block Watch volunteers and other community activists, “to reinvigorate and re-inspire those volunteers who are our eyes on the streets.”

But attendees also will be able to ask police and other city officials specific questions about their neighborhoods.

Statistically, crime in the Fifth Division is actually down compared to 2013, Fox said. But he acknowledged robberies and burglaries are still a big problem in the Highlands. However, police might have gotten a break Saturday night: LMPD arrested a man in the 1200 block of Bardstown Road, a suspect Fox said police believe might be linked to a series of robberies in the Highlands.

The Courier-Journal reported last Wednesday police arrested a man believed to have burgled more than 50 homes and businesses in the Highlands and other neighborhoods. That guy was using the ill-gotten gain for prostitutes.

The last time IL spoke with Maj. Fox, heroin was the driving factor.

In January 2013, the LMPD was clearing burglary cases related to the arrest of Roy Jackson. At the time, police believed Jackson was one of three suspects in a group linked to heroin-fueled burglaries in the Highlands area and in the theft of lawn care equipment from North Oldham High.

Now, it’s not clear what’s driving the latest series of burglaries other than Division 5 neighborhoods as a whole are heavily populated.

Neighbors, including our Block Watch captain, told me of daytime break-ins, and one neighbor had a car stolen out of his garage.

Officer Carey Klain with LMPD just sent IL the complete Crime Prevention Forum schedule:

There have been 2 previous Forum meetings.  The first community forum was held in the 6th Division at St. Barnabas on Sept. 6th .  The 2nd was held in the 4th division on Sept. 23 at Kosair Charities, on Eastern Pkwy.  The remaining divisions will also be hosting a community forum.

The 7th division is the next division that will have a community forum.  Theirs is scheduled and will take place Oct. 14 from 6:30-8 at Highview Baptist Church.

• 2nd Division is Oct. 8 at Eastern Star Baptist church, 2400 Howard St.

• 1st Division is Oct. 21 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 3511 Rudd Ave.

• 3rd Division is Oct. 21 at the Southwest Govt. Center, 7219 Dixie Hwy.

• 8th Division is Nov. 15 10a-12p at the East Govt. Center, 200 North Juneau Dr.

The Louisville Metro Police foundation and PNC Bank are sponsors of the Community Partnership Forums.  In addition, there may be additional sponsors specific to the division.