Denver couple want to shame criminals on billboard

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DENVER — There is no simple solution to snuffing out crime. That’s something Denver’s Athmar Park neighborhood knows all too well.

“We’ve been hit twice in just the last year or so,” said Phil Dejong, an Athmar Park resident.

“We’ve seen our cars rifled through,” neighbor Brennan Basford said.

“It’s almost been constant since we moved in,” said Alisha Rushing.

When Rushing and her husband Phil had $500 worth of plants stolen from their front yard, they knew they’d seen enough.

“They dug them out of the ground and walked off with them,” Rushing said. “I don’t like crime. I don’t like people who commit crimes.”

They filed police reports but said that’s just one part of the puzzle.

The other is an experiment the couple want to make reality. They hope to spearhead an effort to purchase a billboard they’re calling “the wall of shame.”

The billboard would display the pictures of alleged criminals caught red-handed on home surveillance cameras.

“I want people in the neighborhood to see who’s causing these problems and I want those people gone,” Rushing said.

The idea is divisive and expensive, but Rushing and Dejong say drastic crimes call for drastic measures.

“If I had enough money I’d do it tomorrow. I’m just waiting for people to join up,” Rushing said.

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