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From APD...Residential Burglaries Dec 7 - 12: Protect Your Property and Your Family

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From APD...Residential Burglaries Dec 7 - 12: Protect Your Property and Your Family

Post  Admin on Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:08 am

Recently received from APD:

Dear Foothills Area Command Neighborhood Leaders and Apartment Community Managers,

Some details from the past week’s residential burglaries in the Foothills are listed below (Sat through Thu).  I want to share these methods of entry and witness descriptions with you so you will be aware of when these crimes are happening and how these offenders are entering your homes to victimize you.  Please use the details to ‘harden your targets.’  These incidents were sprinkled evenly throughout the Area Command.

7 residential burglaries in 6 days throughout the Foothills Area Command
When did these burglaries occur? Saturday, Sunday, 2 on Tuesday, Wednesday, 2 on Thursday
Points of Entry:  garages, sliding glass door, windows (broken and pried)
1 offender used a piece of wood left on top of an a/c unit to break a window to gain entry
1 victim’s Christmas gifts left in the vehicle parked in the garage were stolen
These crimes were discovered by victims and reported between 12:30 pm and 8:00 pm
Bottom line:     Lock up garages – this is a way into your home!  Remove rocks/tools/ladders/debris that can be used to break windows.  Be extra alert during the daytime when the majority of residential burglaries occur.    

Witness information from one of the burglaries above:
African-American female in white sweat suit witnessed climbing out of a window at burglarized home, 20-30 years old, 6 foot tall, 140 pounds.  
African-American male waiting for her in a white, 4 door vehicle, possibly a Camry.    
Do not hesitate to call 242-COPS (2677) to report suspicious persons or vehicles or casing activity or 911 for a crime in progress!

Another Note:  A resident in another APD Area Command relayed a disturbing incident to me about a 14-year old girl home alone who was confronted with a burglar in her home who had been knocking at the home’s front door moments before breaking into the home.  This morning’s news broadcast showed an Albuquerque resident in another APD Area Command talking about a child on his porch late at night wanting to come into the home and later finding a knife and chunk of hair in his driveway after the child left his property.  

Please use these crime prevention tools to educate yourself and your family:  
• Acknowledge the knock at the door by indicating you are home, but do not open the door if you do not know the person, are not expecting a guest or feel suspicious or fearful!  
• Teach your children your family rules for opening the door to strangers, unexpected visitors, etc.  
• Train your children how to call 911 or 242-COPS, about using the eye viewer on your door, and about your rules for what to do in an emergency when home without a parent!
• Designate a ‘safe haven’ home on your block where a child can go if there is an emergency when you are not present.
• Go over the Door-to-Door Solicitation brochure (attached).

Illegal or unauthorized door-to-door solicitation presents a possible unsafe situation in the residential setting.  Individuals who represent themselves as a legitimate business are often times conducting fraudulent or potentially criminal activity.  This type of enterprise is less prevalent today so individual citizens should consider any unexpected knock at the door to be potentially suspicious.  The following are suggestions about how to create and maintain a safe and secure residential environment and how to handle the unwanted or unauthorized solicitor.  

• The average citizen can define and describe normal behavior and activity in their immediate area or block.  Citizens should apply this knowledge to persons walking the neighborhood.  Strangers or those people that do not belong should be noticed and observed for suspicious activity.  If a person’s behavior is deemed to be abnormal or suspicious, the citizen should call the non-emergency number 242-COPS.  If someone witnesses a crime in progress, dial 911.  
• If the resident receives any knock at the door, they should ALWAYS observe the area through a window or eye-viewer prior to opening the door – even if they are expecting a visitor.  If an unfamiliar person is observed outside the residence, the occupant should be very cautious about opening the door.  If there is a security screen door with a deadbolt lock in place and the citizen feels comfortable with opening the door, they should not engage the individual; rather politely ask them to leave.  In the absence of a security screen door, they should notify the visitor they are unwelcome and ask them to leave the premises via the locked door and should never allow entry for any reason.  Once the person is asked to leave, the resident should observe them leaving and be prepared to report suspicious activity to the police.
• It is important to note that a knock at the door should not go unanswered in some manner – whether through the security screen door or the main door.  Criminals posing as a legitimate solicitor are looking for an empty house to eventually commit residential burglary.  If the criminal breaks into an expected empty residence and finds an occupant, the probability of a violent encounter is high.
• Home Invasions can be the result of a door-to-door solicitor.  The criminal knocks on the door and through a variety of techniques, persuades the resident to open the door.  Once the door is open other individuals appear from obscured locations and force their way into the residence.  If someone is at the door claiming to require assistance or some type of help, especially late at night, NEVER OPEN THE DOOR – call 911.  
• Citizens who have experienced an illegal solicitor or suspicious person should alert other neighbors in the immediate area.
• It is recommended that no one engage or enter into a discussion about the purchase of items or services from any one who initiate contact with them.  If items or services are needed, citizens should pursue the purchase through established businesses.  All frauds and scams originate from contact initiated by someone else.  
• How to verify a solicitor’s legitimacy – All legitimate businesses in the City of Albuquerque must have a permit to operate, this includes the door-to-door solicitor per City Ordinance 13-3-1-1.  The Ordinance requires the individual to have on their person a permit that can be produced on request, which includes photo identification.  Any solicitor that claims not to have one or has left it in another location should be considered illegitimate.  If you desire the right of privacy, posting a No Trespassing or No Soliciting sign on your premises must be observed by the solicitor.  Solicitation is permitted only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and sunset.

Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist
Foothills Area Command, Albuquerque Police Department
12800 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM  87112
332-5240 Front Office
323-4644 Direct Line
332-5249 Fax


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