12-24-08 Don't let the Grinch Steal Christmas! Home Burglaries Increase
Dec. 24, 2008 - Boise Police are warning citizens not to let the Grinch steal Christmas!
Boise Police want to alert citizens that home burglaries have seen a recent increase over earlier this year, and in the past six weeks, more homes are being broken into by force, meaning doors or windows are being forced or broken open.
Officers believe several separate groups or individuals are responsible.
Officers want citizens to be aware of the burglary trend and equally aware of ways to stop or prevent it!
"We're very concerned about this trend in forced entry into homes," said Officer Lance Nickerson, Boise Police Neighborhood Contact Officer for the Vista area. "It may mean thieves are more desperate and being aggressive. That's why it's more important than ever that citizens work together to keep their neighborhood safe, and for citizens to take steps to protect their own homes."
"We all know, including would-be burglars, that many homes are filled with Christmas gifts this time of year. Having your home broken into during the holidays or anytime can really violate your sense of security and safety. No one wants that to happen." said Officer Nickerson. "Neighbors may have seen something, or see something in progress that can help police catch those responsible. We want to hear from folks."
"When we catch the people doing these crimes, we often solve several cases with one arrest. It's good information from citizens, combined with our investigative leads, that leads to arrests." said Officer Nickerson.
Recent Home Burglary Trends:
- Entry - Unlocked doors and windows - August, September, October, 2008 - Boise Police began receiving an increase in reports of home burglaries, with a trend of suspects entering homes through unlocked doors or windows.
- Entry - Forced - October, November, December, 2008 - Boise Police are receiving an increase in reports of home burglaries with suspects gaining entry by force, meaning doors or windows are being forced or broken open.
- Daylight hours - Burglaries are happening in the daytime.
- Throughout the City - Burglaries are occurring in both Bench and Valley areas. However, officers are seeing increasing trends in burglaries in the Maple Grove area, the Overland, Orchard area, and Boise's North End. Officers believe several separate groups or individuals are responsible.
• Between Nov. 1, 2008 and Dec. 22, 2008, 89 home burglaries have been reported in Boise City. Suspects forced entry in 60 of them. Those stats compare to 106 home burglaries in all of Nov. & Dec., 2007, with 31 forced entry burglaries.
• 2008 - 741 home burglaries to date (12/22), compared to 712 for all of 2007.
• The increase in home burglaries has come in the last six months of this year.
One suspect was arrested recently who police believe was responsible for at least 30 home burglaries in Boise (see BPD news release dated Dec. 10, 2008).
Other arrests have occurred, often thanks to officers following up on neighbor reports of suspicious people or activities.
For example, a 17 year old male was arrested by Boise Police Monday, Dec. 22nd when officers found him inside a home near Vista and Overland. The officers were called by a citizen who reported the teen knocked on her door, and when she answered, he asked a seemingly random question. When she closed the door, she watched the teen walk to a neighbors home and knock again. When the neighbor didn't answer, the citizen watched as the teen walked into the neighbors backyard. She then called police who were able to interrupt the burglary in progress at approx. 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
Boise Police urge citizens to help officers by keeping an eye out on their neighborhood, and take measures to protect their own homes:
• Call police (911) anytime you see anything potentially suspicious, even in the daylight! We might not consider something suspicious at 2:00 p.m. that we might suspect at 2:00 a.m., but remember, burglaries are happening in the daytime!
• Watch out for your Neighbors! Call police if you spot something or someone suspicious around a neighbors home. That might be a parked car that's not known to neighbors with people sitting inside; someone walking down the street looking into windows; or someone walking up to a neighbors home you know is on vacation.
• Start a Neighborhood Watch Program! Knowing your neighbors and knowing how to contact them at work or on vacation can be crucial to neighborhood safety. To learn more about the Boise Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Program, please call 577-3851.
Private Home Security:
• Keep your home well lit in both front and back at all times. Consider keeping a radio on when you're not home.
• Trim landscaping so doors and windows are easy to see and not hidden.
• If you're away for a period of time, have the post office or neighbors collect mail and newspapers. Have neighbors keep an extra eye on your home. Consider having a neighbor over to turn inside lights on and off from time to time.