BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Neighbors in Canton are stringing cafe lights along dark streets all in hopes of deterring crime.

Chris Broughton spent Tuesday afternoon stringing lights.

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“The point is to make it as unappealing as possible for anyone who wants to commit a crime,” Broughton, of the Canton Community Association, said.

Broughton said the idea to hang cafe lights came to him after an armed robbery happened outside his Canton home nearly a year ago. He said the suspect was able to hide in the dark and attack.

“I wanted to make sure, at least on my block, that won’t happen again,” he said.

Since then, he’s installed lights on four dozen streets in Canton.

“It brightens up the block which is nice at night,” Shak Saunders, a local resident, said.

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According to Baltimore City Police, within the past year, nearly 400 crimes have been reported in Canton, including 18 cases of aggravated assault, 25 robberies, 51 burglaries and 42 stolen cars.

“A lot of times people are getting hit, unfortunately at night, when it is darker and you can’t really see someone on the corner sneaking up on you,” Saunders said.

Neighbors said the lights give them a sense of comfort.

“Just something about walking in the dark, even with a rottweiler, I just don’t feel safe,” Annette Saunders, a local resident, said. “Seeing these lights lit at 6 a.m. brings me a little more comfort.”

Broughton said his goal is to shed a light on safety.

“I get a sense of accomplishment out of it hoping that I am helping the neighborhood,” he said.

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Kelsey Kushner