Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
by DION LIM / NewsChannel 36 WCNC.com Posted on August 3, 2011 at 12:47 AM
STALLINGS, N.C. -- Clad in a lovely floral button-up and cropped pants, 77-year-old Mary Ritch is the last person you’d think of when describing a neighborhood watch group member.
Same goes for her friend Charmaine Nolan, who’s pushing 60.
Together, the pair make up part of the neighborhood watch group called the “Vigilante Grannies” in the Fairfield Plantation neighborhood in Stallings. The group started after a few ladies just sat around, shooting the breeze about the recent crime in their tight-knit community.
“We were laughing about watching cars and getting their license plate numbers, and somebody just said vigilante grannies, and that’s what we did!” said Ritch.
At a nearby park, there are signs of vandalism and petty crimes all over. A graffiti-covered wall. A few broken picnic tables. Litter on the ground. The seniors are known to not only report suspicious activity, but face it head-on.
“I see cars come and go, and if I don’t recognize you, I don’t mind asking where you live or who you’re with and why you’re here!” said Nolan.
Some critics wonder if taking matters into their own hands is safe. The grannies don’t seem to worry.
“Fear is not in our makeup. It’s just that simple. I haven’t met a teenager I’m afraid of, and I’m not going to start now,” said Ritch.
The ladies' efforts have even resulted in a drug-related arrest.
But this group of seniors isn’t looking for recognition, just a way to make their tight-knit community a safer place to live.