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Guardian Angels will stay in Seminole Heights and watch the neighborhood

The Guardian Angels will patrol on a weekly basis
Posted at 11:14 PM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 23:14:18-05

TAMPA, Fla.- The Tampa Bay area Guardian Angels were in Seminole Heights on Friday night. They walked nearly 600 miles in the past 2 months. On Friday, they added more miles.

The Guardian Angels are a non-profit group. They were founded in New York in 1979 conducting hundreds of safety patrols throughout the United States, according to its website.

They have chapters in more than 130 cities including in the Tampa Bay area.

The group said they will add the Seminole Heights neighborhood to its weekly patrols. 

"Once we come into an area, we just don't abandon it," said Ron Smith, a Guardian Angel.

The group walked the streets of Seminole Heights ever since the first murder in October. They were out patrolling nearly every day. Police caught the suspected killer in the Seminole Heights murders on Tuesday, but the group says patrols will continue. 

Complete coverage of Seminole Heights homicides

"This is close to our area we've been patrolling since 1986 which includes Ybor," said Smith.

The group has also talked about finding a permanent office where they could hold community meetings.

"If we were offered some sort of facility to set up a base to work here and Ybor and Seminole Heights, that's something we would look into, absolutely," said Smith.

The group noticed more people were walking after dark on Friday. For weeks, neighbors were scared to leave their home after 4 people were murdered.

"I'm seeing a look of relief on their faces," said Smith.

The group will stay in Seminole Heights serving as a neighborhood watch program for as long as they are welcomed. They're relieved and hope neighbors can once again enjoy their backyards.

"People should enjoy their backyards without fear," said Smith.