Over the last 24 hours we have responded to several property related crimes, including burglaries and thefts from automobiles, in residential neighborhoods near the area of McKee Road, between Osmundsen Road and Chapel Valley Road. Unlocked homes, garages and vehicles were entered and items including spare keys and garage door openers were taken. All of these incidents appear to have occurred during the overnight hours of October 12th.
Property crimes are the most prevalent as well as the most preventable crimes we respond to. The investigation into these particular property crimes is continuing, however we are asking you, our number one partner in crime prevention, to take some basic steps and share this information with your neighbors.
•If a door has a lock, use it. This includes the door from your garage to your residence. Keep exterior doors locked even when you are home.
•Leave your exterior home lights on and/or utilize motion detecting lights.
•Whether they are in your car, garage or house, don't keep valuables in plain sight. This includes your garage door opener.
•Do not keep valuables in your car. This includes your garage door opener and any spare keys. We have also investigated several recent motor vehicle thefts in which spare keys were left in a glove box or center console. Keep track of your spare keys and ensure they are kept in a safe location.
•Keep your garage door closed at all times. This is the number one way to reduce most of the property crime we encounter.
•Report suspicious activity and all criminal activity immediately. When we investigate property crime we often learn of neighbors who may have had a vehicle or garage gone through but did not report it. Whether it's a criminal or suspicious activity, please report it. While we may not always be able to "solve" the crime or recover property, it is important for us to understand what is occurring in order to identify patterns and potentially suspects.
We also recommend incorporating these tips into a nightly routine. In many of these incidents, unlocked doors or garage doors left open are an oversight. Checking doors and making sure lights are on every night at the same time can help eliminate those instances.
Our non-emergency dispatch number, (608)270-4300 is staffed by a City of Fitchburg dispatcher 24 hours a day. If in doubt about suspicious activity or you wish to make a report, please call us.
Please share these tips with your neighbors. While you may practice these crime prevention techniques, a neighbor who does not may be unknowingly welcoming criminals into your neighborhood. Don't know your neighbors? Go introduce yourself. Neighbors who know each other and their neighbor's routines are more likely to notice and report suspicious activity.
Thank you for partnering with us to prevent crime in our community.