It’s bad news when police bust a burglary ring, and break-ins increase, but that’s the story from Springfield, IL:
Area police agencies thought their problem with burglaries would lessen after the arrest in July of five people accused of a two-month spree of more than 100 break-ins. That hasn’t been the case. Burglary rates are still well above average while police look for what they believe to be several groups now targeting central areas of Springfield, Jerome and Leland Grove.
Springfield Not Alone
I’ve seen these reports from other cities, where the arrest of one or more serial burglars seems to invite more intruders to step up their activities.
Authorities estimate as many as 50 burglaries have taken place in the three communities during the past month. “It started at the beginning of summer with that first group that was hitting places all over the county,” said Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher of the Springfield Police Department. “We thought it would slow down after they were arrested. Now there are other groups that have come in and taken their place.”
Burglaries Follow the Usual Pattern
Authorities have noticed a spike in burglaries between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., a period when break-ins typically are carried out by youths, according to Jerome Police Sgt. Dan Skaggs. The burglars knock on front and back doors to determine if anyone’s home, he said. If there’s no response, they kick in a back door or a basement window and take jewelry, cash, iPods and even items as big as flat-screen televisions, Skaggs said.
This is classic, Burglary 101 – they break in the same way, at generally the same time, and target the same items. And there is no question that we can all use the same methods to deter them – like FrontPoint’s Top 10 Home Security Tips.
Burglars are Getting Younger?
According to police, the age of the perpetrators makes it more difficult to keep them behind bars. Teens receive points on their criminal records based on the type and severity of a crime committed, as well as their criminal history. If an arrested teen hasn’t accrued enough points, he or she can be released to the custody of a parent or guardian instead of being detained at the juvenile detention center. “Some of these people who are being caught — we’ve caught a few — they don’t have jobs and they’re juveniles,” Gleason said. “With the juvenile system, they’re not even kept overnight if they don’t have enough points.”
Springfield also means something to me personally: as the capital of Illinois, Springfield is home to the licensing agency that controls alarm companies operating in the State. With the help of several in-state alarm experts, this particular agency constructed one of the most difficult alarm licensing exams in the US – an exam that I had to pass before FrontPoint could be licensed in Illinois. As the nationwide leader in interactive, wireless home security, we now have plenty of customers all over the State, so my diligence and preparation paid off, as in many other states where alarm company licensing is tough. But that’s a topic for another post…