Some crime prevention tips that didn’t make the story we posted as Wednesday’s community meeting was winding down are well worth discussing.
Something common to many of the burglaries, she said, is the thieves didn’t have to break in. “There is a tendency not to lock the doors and not to lock the windows,” she said of homeowners. “There are people (burglars) who are checking these things out.”
Horswill said police in recent years targeted and reduced auto theft by about 60 percent, in part by going after repeat offenders. “We’re doing the same thing now with burglaries.”
Three pieces of specific advice from Horswill (more can be found here):
- Big flat-screen TVs are popular targets and glowing invitations. “You can see them from a block away. It’s not that hard for a burglar to figure out.” A new wrinkle, she said, is thieves who back their car into a driveway to load the TV rather than carry it down the street. “The car itself and the open trunk shields them to a degree.”
- If you see something suspicious – like a strange car backed into the neighbor’s driveway in the middle of the work day – “call 911. Not the precinct. Don’t start looking up numbers and fiddling around. Call 911.”
- Leave no jewelry in that jewelry box sitting in the bedroom, the first place burglars look. “You can replace a TV…stolen jewelry will be a knife in your heart. Get it out of the bedroom.”
Here’s the rundown of the 19 burglary reports Horswill summarized:
- Jan. 25, 1900 block of Northeast 107th Street. Neighbors saw two suspicious males, followed their car, lost it. Officers found open back door and “clear signs that property had been stolen, there were no signs of forced entry to the door.”
- Jan. 24, 1000 block of Northeast 82nd Street. Front door jam broken in, laptop computer, credit cards and jewelry stolen. Horwsill told the meeting that nobody steals desktop computers now but go instead for laptops – “the smaller the better.”
- Jan. 1, 10500 block of 19th Avenue Northeast. Screen removed from unlocked window, jewelry stolen.
- Dec. 21, 9500 block of First Avenue Northeast. Rear sliding glass door open, apartment ransacked, no sign of forced entry.
- Dec. 14, 9800 block of Fifth Avenue Northeast. Car window broken in secured garage, backpack stolen.
- Dec. 13, 10500 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast. Car window broken in secured garage, radio and charger cord stolen.
- Dec. 9, 9100 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast. Front door kicked in, TV gone and items scattered around the floor.
- Dec. 9, 500 block of Northeast 98th Street. Neighbor watching an apartment found a window screen pulled down and the bedroom ransacked.
- Dec. 2, 800 block of Northeast 104th Street. Back door forced open, flat-screen TV, iPod, laptop and digital camera stolen.
- Dec. 2, 1500 block of Northeast 97th Street. Back door broken into, drawers rifled through.
- Dec. 1, 1200 block of Northeast 88th Street. Bedroom window left unlocked, house ransacked, wife’s jewelry box gone.
- Nov. 27, 8600 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast. Basement door kicked in, guitar and DVDs stolen.
- Nov. 20, 8000 block of 16th Avenue Northeast. French garage doors forced open, motorcycle and jack stolen.
- Nov. 17, 2100 block of Northeast 81st Street. Lockbox removed from unoccupied house under construction.
- Nov. 16, 400 block of Northeast 81st Street. Window in front door broken with a rock, laptop, cash and a cartoon of cigarettes stolen.
- Nov. 15, 500 block of Northeast 82nd Street. Rock thrown through pane of rear French door, no known property stolen.
- Nov. 15, 800 block of Northeast 85th Street. Rear glass door shattered, ruby ring missing.
- Nov. 10, 8900 block of 12th Avenue Northeast. Neighbor calls 911 to report burglary in progress; six suspects arrested.
- Nov. 1, 2000 block of Northeast 89th Street. Victim heard noise on her balcony around midnight. The next morning she found plants were moved and her door unlocked. Not sure if entry was made.