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Summer sees rise in vehicle burglaries

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Roswell this summer has seen a large number of burglaries, according to incident and investigation reports filed by the Roswell Police Department in July and August.

Chris Bradley, an RPD detective, said that by mid-August 30 burglaries had been reported, a high number for Roswell. The time of the year is likely a big factor behind the spike in burglaries, with many happening on the city’s north side.

“From what I see crime tends to to go up more in the warmer weather times of the year, just because it is more comfortable for people to be out and about at that time instead of in the freezing cold,” he said.

Though burglaries of homes and businesses have continued, Bradley said break-ins of vehicles are the majority of cases he has investigated recently.

Early last month one man, Austin York, was arrested and charged with carrying out at least 12 vehicle burglaries that occurred between July 29 and 30. Bradley said York’s capture happened thanks to the work of patrol officers.

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However, York is not the only one entering vehicles and taking items.

A look at incident and investigation reports show thieves making off with an array of items such as credit cards, wallets, purses, money, personal papers, CDs, electronic devices, cigarettes, tools, golf clubs and firearms.

When firearms have been stolen that can add to the concerns of police, Bradley said.

“Anytime there are guns in the hands of the wrong person, could present an issue,” he said.

Sometimes vehicles themselves are among the property that is stolen — such as in the winter when people leave their cars running to warm them up before work. Bradley though said recently many of the vehicle burglaries have been fairly unsophisticated, where the perpetrator breaks into a vehicle, takes what is visible and easiest to get to and then flees the scene without the vehicle.

“I don’t think they are really casing any areas,” Bradley said. “I think they are just going neighborhood to neighborhood checking car doors, getting what they want and getting out of there.”

He said often times vehicles that are burglarized have doors that are unlocked and that when something valuable — such as a purse or money — can be seen out in the open in a vehicle it makes it a more inviting target for an intruder. He added that garage doors open at night and people posting on social media about their schedules and when they will not be home can also attract burglars.

Once items are stolen the chances of recovering them varies, but odds that they will be found again increase when victims can present a serial number, Bradley said.

People should keep serial numbers of big ticket items such as computers and electronics and guns so they can be presented to investigators in the event they are taken.

“If they have that readily available, that makes that easier to identify when we come across it,” he said.

Bradley said investigators have received ample assistance from the public. He added that simply being a good neighbor and keeping an eye out for anything unusual can be helpful in combating burglaries.

He said that with all the burglaries that he has investigated he has never encountered neighbors not willing to help when they have seen something that can help catch a burglar.

“It’s tremendous whenever you get that kind of support not only from the neighbors but also people that live blocks away who might know something,” Bradley said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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