It’s hard for me to imagine a location that defines the “heartland” of the US more than rural upstate New York – a place that should be relatively crime-free, with the kind of peaceful small towns you see in the movies. That’s why it was alarming to read about two strings of burglaries in Philipstown, NY, just across the Hudson from West Point: one in 2009, and the other just last month. And it’s not the same bad guys.
Sheriff’s investigators are looking into several burglaries in which homes were entered and items stolen, including jewelry, electronic equipment and computers. “Our citizens are the eyes and ears of law enforcement. Anyone seeing a suspicious car or person in their neighborhood, or has information that may help lead to the arrest of these suspects is asked to call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office,” Smith said.
The Sheriff’s specific recommendations:
- Make your home look occupied.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Leave lights on when you go out at night. If you are going to be away for any length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don’t allow for your daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or fliers to build up while you are away. Arrange for the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them in regularly.
And here is a link to the article from last year, and this particular snippet caught my attention. What are the odds that you would see someone wearing an identifiable article stolen from you – and wearing it in public?
In September of 2009, residents reported that their homes had been entered and items consisting of jewelry, computer and camera equipment were stolen. There were two reported burglaries and the attempted entry of a third home. In July of this year, one of the victims of the burglaries was shopping at a retail store in Cortlandt when she observed another woman wearing what appeared to be a unique piece of jewelry that was stolen during the burglary of her home. Police were informed and subsequently confirmed that the item seen by the homeowner was indeed the same item stolen from her home. Investigators executed search warrants at two homes and seized evidence and some stolen property.
The burglar from the 2009 break-ins has been arrested, and with a little luck and the customary hard work, the local police should solve the later crimes as well. Police departments are getting better about recommending monitored alarm systems – after all, it’s been shown time and again that alarm systems are the best deterrent: they work. As the leader in interactive, wireless home security, FrontPoint interacts with law enforcement professionals all across the US, so we’re proud to support their efforts to make your neighborhoods safer – and we are here to help.