I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving with friends and family. As the Holidays are fast approaching we are seeing an increase in residential break-ins. I have read recent neighborhood posts regarding the break-ins and these posts have been a big help to get information out to your neighbors.
Under the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting there was an estimated 2,103,787 burglaries across the US in 2012. Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.7 billion in property losses in 2012; overall the average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,230. The clearance rate for these Burglaries in 2012 was 12.7%. (http://www.fbi. gov/about- us/cjis/ucr/ crime-in- the-u.s/2012/ crime-in- the-u.s.- 2012/cius_ home) As you can see these are very difficult crimes to solve. The Police Department needs your help in order to apprehend those responsible. Throughout my last year in District 2, I have seen how information we received, from the community, has led to the apprehension and arrest of several criminals. For that I say a BIG thank you!!! We cannot be successful without you all.
Within the past two month, the Criminal Investigation Team, in District 2, has identified 5 different groups committing break-ins and if you have read the most recent Independent Weekly, you will see the Durham County Sheriff’s Department made a significant arrest of a serial break-in suspect.
Although these arrests and suspects have been identified, our break-ins continue. I am asking for your help to be extra vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Please call 911 immediately.
Some examples of suspicious activity are listed below:
* Cars backed into driveways that don’t belong at the residence
* People being dropped off from a car who don’t belong in the neighborhood. We have seen suspects drop others off to break-in and return when they have the property ready to be loaded into a car.
* Strangers knocking on doors or ringing door bells. Often times burglars will knock on the door before breaking in to see if someone is home.
* Audible alarms from a residence
* A person carrying household property on foot.
* Someone peering into parked cars or removing license plates or car accessories.
* Strangers loitering or driving through the neighborhood: Someone going door to door, trying to open doors or going around to the back.
* Any Unusual or “odd” behavior that seems “out of place” in your neighborhood.
* Youth in neighborhood during school hours
I would also encourage all neighborhoods that do not have a Neighborhood Watch to contact Officer Brown with our Community Resource Unit. For those that do have a Neighborhood Watch Program, please let your communities know that we do offer Security Surveys. A crime prevention officer comes by your residence to give crime prevention advice about lighting, locks, landscaping, etc., to make your home less attractive to criminals. Officer Brown can be reached at Laurence.Brown@ durhamnc. gov or by phone at 919-560-4404.
Some basic ways to make your home less attractive to burglars are as follows (this is not an all-inclusive list):
* Avoid leaving items out in plain sight. This includes bicycles or scooters or power equipment in your driveway or yard as these items are easy to walk away with.
* Keep your garage door closed and locked
* If you purchase a new electronic devise such as a computer or television, don’t leave the box out beside the trash can or recycling bin. To a criminal this is a sign you have expensive items in your home.
* Be aware of leaving your curtains or blinds open. Criminals do look for easy to grab items so they can be in and out quickly. Walk around your own home both in the day and night to see what can be seen from the street as well as outside windows. The reflection or glow at night from a large flat screen TV is an invitation. Consider doing a minor redesign to move items out of view.
* More break-ins occur during the day when folks are not home. If your home seems occupied it is less likely to be a target.
* Think of the environment around your home. Tall shrubs and overgrown trees provide a hiding place for criminals.
* If you go out of town, have a friend/neighbor house sit, pick up mail, and newspapers. Never advertise you are out of town by posting information on social media. Fill out a property check request with your local Police District.
* Get to know your neighbors! A closer knit community is less likely to have break-ins.
* Lock your doors and windows and if you have an alarm system use it.
WRITE DOWN YOUR MAKE MODEL AND SERIAL NUMBER OF ALL ELECTRONICS AS WELL AS HAVING PHOTOS OF JEWELRY! This is one of the only ways Law Enforcement can link property back to the owner.
Please be safe out there and look out for your neighbors!
Lieutenant M.K. Bond
Durham Police Department
marianne.bond@ durhamnc. gov