The city of Charlotte has a new plan to fight crime at apartment complexes throughout Charlotte.
City officials just started taking applications for a grant program that helps complexes pay to beef up security.
For 11 years, the city has offered to pay for security improvements at businesses, but for the the first time, it is extending the grants to apartments.
Gabriela Palincas, property manager at the Thompson Place Apartments in west Charlotte, said she's eager to apply. More than 300 people live in the 65 units at her 11-building complex.
She deals with vandalism, like broken fencing and broken windows, and also larcenies, like car break-ins.
"You want your tenants to feel comfortable and to let their children play outside, not to worry every time they go to work, 'Will my house be broken into?'" she said.
Karna Williams, a tenant, said thieves broke into her husband's car twice and stole a laptop.
"We need surveillance cameras," she said. "We really do."
The new program reimburses up to 50 percent of a company's costs with a maximum award of $15,000.
It pays for security improvements such as cameras, lighting, gates and fencing.
Chris Hemans, business corridor recruiter with the City of Charlotte, said not only is the program designed to help make neighborhoods safer, but help them economically as well.
"We want the occupancy rates to be high so that these people will in turn go support our commercial corridors and our businesses that are out there," he said.
Palincas hopes to add more than a dozen cameras so she can track down who's behind the crime.
"I am very excited because we've been trying to do it for a very long time," she said. "We just did not have the funds to do it."
The program is available to apartments in high-priority areas designated by the city through west, north and east Charlotte in what the city calls its Business Corridor Revitalization Program Geography.
The Greater Charlotte Apartment Associations estimates there are about 25,000 people living at the eligible apartments.