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DECATUR, Ga. -- Decatur Police are calling a recent uptick in crime "significant." Robberies and break-ins are happening, sometimes right in front of children.

The neighborhoods affected include Oakhurst, Winnona Park and the South Candler Street area.

It has neighbors coming together in a series of community meetings intended to be a proactive approach to fighting crime for the people in the neighborhood.

At the first meeting held Monday night, police said they've seen similarities between crimes in DeKalb County and Atlanta and what's going on in Decatur. Investigators hope that breaking one case may help solve the others.

"The nature of the crimes and firearms has gotten everybody's attention," resident Derrick Duncan said. "I was actually a witness to one of the crimes. I had two small children at the park, so I'm invested in this case."

It isn't enough for police to step up patrols. They say their best advice is to be observant. If you're targeted, don't try to be an officer -- instead, be the best witness you can.

The next community meeting is set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Decatur Recreational Center at 231 Sycamore Street.

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