Complaints are coming in about the management at two apartment complexes in Savannah and on Whitemarsh Island.
Some people say they should do more to keep residents safe inside their homes. It comes days after reports of violence at each complex, which are both managed by the same company.
On Monday, Savannah Police say the target was Colonial Grand on Marsh Cove. At least one person was hurt after a shooting.
Two weeks ago, Chatham County Police say a woman was raped at Colonial Grand at Hammocks.
MAA manages the complexes, in addition to six others throughout the Coastal Empire. Both complexes have cameras, but both are still the scene of criminal investigations.
People who live there did not want to talk to News 3 on camera. So we asked a security consultant about how safe complexes are if you live in one.
“You have a high concentration of residents in a really confined space,” said Jordan Roth, the president of Beta One Solutions. “What you get is really an ideal target for criminal perpetrators.”
Beta One Solutions is a Savannah company that helps others improve their safety measures.
MAA sent News 3 this statement on Thursday:
“At MAA, we want every resident to experience a high quality of life in our communities, so we are concerned about reports of criminal activity at our properties.
We take reports of criminal activity seriously and work closely with local law enforcement regarding any investigations.
We stand by our commitment to make reasonable efforts to minimize risk by keeping our residents informed and aware.”
It says the only cameras on its Southside property are at the office.
“They’re primarily intended to provide the perception of security and a feeling of exclusivity,” said Roth. “Unfortunately this can have a negative effect: increasing the neighborhood’s vulnerability because they adopt a false sense of security.”
Roth says even gates make people complacent.
“They make the assumption that these other entities are providing adequate security for their community, so they may not do those basic things that we’re all taught to do growing up,” he said.
There is no golden rule when it comes to safety. Roth advises to stay alert and ask questions before you sign a lease.
“Yes, you may have a gated system. Yes, you may have an identity management system that’s supposed to control access. What hours during the day that they’re operating? How is access restricted?” said Roth.
He says property managers should be real with their residents. That includes being honest about security limitations or vulnerabilities.
Savannah Police say to call them if you see anything suspicious. You can remain anonymous if you call Crime Stoppers at (912) 234-2020.