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Burglaries on the rise
Residents of the Hilltop listened carefully to the words of Sgt. Joe Horton at the Sep. 7 Greater Hilltop Area Commission meeting.
According to Horton, there has been an outbreak of resident’s houses being broken into over the past month or two.
“There has been a series of burglaries, residential burglaries, on the Hilltop. It’s just not confined to one particular area; we’re talking Westgate, east of Hague, and north of Broad as well – a large area, with a big pattern. So far we’ve arrested three different groups committing burglaries in the daylight,” Horton says.
Residents reacted with surprise to the new that from the three groups, one of individuals is a 14 year old boy who has become a repeated offender.
“He broke into a former member of the Hilltop Commission’s home and then we caught him again at Chestershire on a burglary, just south of us here. So, this is three for a fourteen year old burglar so far this summer,” Horton says.
It has been noted that the suspects have been using a specific and direct tactic in determining whether or not residents are home. The same pattern has emerged within all three groups.
“I would urge you again, especially during the daylight hours, be mindful of people walking and hanging out in the neighborhood. All three of these groups hit the front door – knock, knock, knock – no response, they go right in the back door,” Horton says.
As one can expect, the residents are not always away and therefore the cover story in which the burglars have been using as an excuse for being within the neighborhoods comes in the form of door-to-door lawn mowing.
“Please…be aware of that,” Horton says.
He added that if a resident sees strange conduct, such as persons who look out of place, pushing around an old lawnmower, asking to cut your grass when the grass has not even had a chance to grow yet, to call it in. This will give the police opportunity to investigate and see who the people are.
“More often than not, the only way we make apprehensions at residential burglaries is by the calls of an alert neighbor…we have to rely on neighbors to look out for one another and say, ‘hey, this person does not belong here, kindly check him out,’ and we do,” Horton says.
According to Horton, more often than not when strange conduct is reported, they find there has been some type of burglary, whether from a house, garage, or shed.
Horton furthermore extended his appreciation of the support the police department receives from alert residents and block watch associations.
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