By Mark Bell
June 12, 2011
MURFREESBORO – Burglaries were on the rise throughout the city throughout the first part of the year, and police here expect the problem to only get worse this summer.
"We typically see an increase in burglaries during the spring and summer seasons as more people are out during the day," Murfreesboro Police Department spokesman Kyle Evans explained recently.
The latest statistics from the department show there were 581 confirmed burglaries throughout the city between January 1 and May 31 of this year. That's up slightly from the 521 burglaries that were reported during the same time period in 2010.
To combat the increase in burglaries, Evans said, the MPD is taking a three-pronged approach.
"This approach incorporates crime prevention, directed patrols of residential areas where we have seen an increase in burglaries and special efforts at investigating these crimes," Evans said.
An example of MPD's special investigative efforts is the use of burglars who have been caught to identify other burglary suspects that make up larger criminal networks, according to Evans.
"We are working with those individuals to clear outstanding cases and attempt to return property to their rightful owners," he said. "Many times, these criminals will offer information that implicates other criminals in other burglaries. We are following up on those leads and are actively investigating recent burglary cases."
As for patrols, MPD has "increased visibility through the use of marked police units in residential areas," Evans said, adding undercover officers will also be targeting areas known to be at high risk to be burglarized.
The department's Crime Prevention Division will also help any community group establish a Neighborhood Watch. Sgt. Melvin Cunningham is the contact for this program and may be reached at 615-895-3874 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another tool MPD urges residents to utilize is the Reportit Leads Online system, method of maintaining secure records of personal property.
Accessible at reportit.leadsonline.com, the website allows residents to maintain a list of includes serial numbers, item descriptions, pictures and scans of receipts to help items be more easily identified in the event of theft or loss.
Such records would come in handy if police recover a resident's stolen items or when the resident needs to report losses to an insurance company.
The MPD also offers the following advice to help you to avoid becoming a victim of burglary: