Sunday, April 20, 2014
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
January 28, 2014
MONMOUTH — The Monmouth Police Department is asking residents to be vigilant and lock their doors.
"From the beginning of December until (Jan. 23), we've had 12 burglaries and 26 thefts, 10 of those being car break-ins," said Sgt. Isaiah Haines.
A burglary is when someone enters a residence, dwelling or building. Thefts can be anything from pickpocketing, shoplifting or car break-ins.
The rash of break-ins began in an apartment complex with primarily student occupants, Haines said, but has since spread throughout town. This is the largest number of burglaries and thefts Haines said he has seen in some time.
Often doors have been unlocked, but a number of times entry has been forced, he said.
"We do know there have been a number of burglaries of occupied buildings, which is something that's a little more brazen," Haines said. "That presents a whole new slew of problems."
The burglaries and thefts have occurred at all times of the day, evening and nighttime.
"That's another kind of unusual thing," Haines said. "We've had a lot more daytime break-ins and even burglaries that we don't generally see. Usually that's a middle-of-the-night occurrence."
Monmouth Police De-partment has been using its Facebook page to try and raise awareness of the situation, and how to combat it.
"Be very vigilant about locking their doors, both vehicle doors and their residences and their garages," said Chief Darrell Tallan.
And leave a light on.
"People use back doors because they aren't very well lit, or front doors that aren't lit, so lights are definitely key to have on," Haines said.
Call police when something is suspicious.
"When you see a suspicious person that's up to no good, or someone who doesn't fit in a certain area at a certain time of night, … let us know when we need to check on something," Haines said.
Tallan said every minute can make a difference, too. A suspicious vehicle or suspicious person is a 9-1-1 call.
"We're finding that people are waiting until the following day," Tallan said.
When people don't have good descriptions of the suspicious vehicles or people, it makes it difficult for police. Calling 9-1-1 immediately means an officer has a better chance to respond more quickly to the scene.
And it's not an inconvenience to the police, Tallan said.
"That's our job," he said. "We don't mind one bit to come down if you think something's not right, or something's out of place, or somebody doesn't belong next door. We don't mind checking."
Currently, Monmouth has no active Neighborhood Watch programs, but some communities have taken to keeping in touch via email groups, Tallan said.
"Get to know your neighbors," he said. "Talk to one another. Be familiar with who comes and goes so you're able to watch out not just for yourself, but for your neighbors, too."
If you see something suspicious, call 9-1-1.
For more information: Monmouth Police Depart-ment, 503-838-1109; on Facebook.