Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Crime Problems in Our Next-Door Neighborhood

There have been articles in the News & Record for the past two days about break-ins in the New Irving Park neighborhood. Fortunately, our neighborhood is not having the same problems.

No crime reports of any kind have been posted for the month of October for the DDLP. We did have two burglaries in September, one on Kenmore and one at the Lawndale Swim & Tennis Club.

The current crime wave in New Irving Park was discussed at the DDLP neighborhood watch meeting on October 7. Officer Jim Cayton, our community resource officer, and Officer Brian Dodd attended that meeting.

Officer Cayton has been working the burglaries in New Irving Park and noted that the burglars are taking advantage of homes with long driveways that curve around to the back of the house and homes with carports because both offer concealment opportunities. The thieves know they have no more than five to ten minutes to get in and out, so they break in quickly, usually by kicking in a door or breaking a window, and grab jewelry and flat screen TVs. In one case, Officer Cayton arrived at the scene of a burglary ONE MINUTE after it was reported and the perpetrator(s) were already gone. One minute.

Officer Cayton reminded us that criminals look for seclusion and easy to sell items and asked us to look around our homes for ways to reduce easy access to entry points and target items. Alarms are a tool that may limit what a thief can take by shortening the time he has in the home. Officer Cayton has an alarm system, but he mainly relies on the alarm to warn him of a break in while he's sleeping. He recommends keeping an inventory of our valuables with photos and appraisals.

Our eyes are more important than any other crime prevention tool. Call the police if you see a car in your neighbor's driveway that doesn't belong there.