Crime, Fire + Courts

Unlocked doors, windows keeping local thieves active

By From page A1 | February 12, 2013

Lock your doors. Lock your windows.

Davis police issued that message for the third time Monday after a string of four residential burglaries — and one attempted break-in — on Sunday brought the city’s year-to-date burglary count to 41.

Lt. Glenn Glasgow said police are continuing to see a pattern in which thieves have easy access to the homes through unlocked doors and windows. Even more disturbing: four of the five homes targeted on Sunday were occupied at the time, including two houses where the residents slept through the pilferings.

So Glasgow is again urging residents to take a moment to check their latches, even if it’s the middle of the day.

“Some of it may be that they feel comfortable in their neighborhoods, the old adage, ‘It will never happen here,’ ” Glasgow said of the tendency to leave doors and windows unlocked. But simply turning a lock, he added, can dramatically reduce your chances of being victimized.

Sunday’s burglaries occurred between the hours of 4:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. The first was on Eucalyptus Street in South Davis, where a resident caught the suspect running through the inside of the home and escaping through a rear open window.

Two more break-ins were reported later that morning, just one block away on La Canada Way and Sierra Madre Way, where the residents awoke to discover their belongings — jewelry, electronics and cash — had vanished.

At 3 p.m., a resident of Petra Court in East Davis called police after seeing a man flee out the front door of her home, Glasgow said. He was described as a white male, about 6 feet tall, wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt. That night, a resident of Farragut Circle in South Davis returned home to discover a screen removed from a side window, though no entry was made into the house.

Glasgow said it’s hard to say whether any of the incidents were connected. Three occurred around the same time frame in the same neighborhood, “so there is a possibility that they are linked, but we don’t have any conclusive evidence linking them together,” he said.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact the Davis Police Department at 530-747-5400. In the meantime, police urge residents to take the following precautions:

* Make sure all windows, doors, garages, side gates, etc., are closed and locked when not in use. Keeping doors locked when you are home is also suggested.

* Report any suspicious activity, such as people walking or driving up and down your street, checking for unlocked doors and/or looking in windows, backyards or vehicles. Vehicles “cruising” your neighborhood at very slow speeds or sitting in a vehicle for extended periods can also be signs of suspicious activity.

* Always go with your “gut feeling.” If something does not feel or look right, it probably isn’t. Call it in!

* Be alert, be aware and be prepared to be a good witness. Call 911 from your home phone or 530-758-3600 from your cell phone to report suspicious activities in progress.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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