By Colleen Sparks
Banding together, reporting issues to police and arming their property with security systems are some steps neighbors should take in order to prevent more burglaries in Sunnyslope, after a recent rash of break-ins in the area.
Those were some of the tips Phoenix Police Department officials provided to many neighbors at an East Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association & Block Watch meeting at North Village Baptist Church recently.
In just one area of Sunnyslope, about a 20-mile radius of the intersection of 12th Street and Butler Drive, there were 15 residential and car burglaries in September, said Phoenix Police Commander Aimee Smith of the Desert Horizon Precinct. Smith said that was an unusually high number of home and vehicle burglaries for one month.
Phoenix Police Officer William Keech offered tips on preventing burglaries.
“What burglars look for, their mindset is the better your home looks, the more likely you have good stuff to steal,” Keech said. “They want visibility into your house. They look through small windows on doors. They tap on glass to test dogs’ temperament. Install wireless house security cameras. Get familiar with your neighbors.”
He said police need the public’s help and urged residents to write down serial numbers for their TVs, computers, guns, electronics and other expensive items so police can track them electronically if they are stolen and criminals try to sell them. People may report burglaries and other problems after they have occurred at Crime Stop at 602-262-6151. While a burglary or other crime is in progress, the public should call 9-1-1.
In many of the recent burglaries, the burglars came in the backs of the homes, sometimes through unlocked gates and used rocks. Unmarked police cars have been patrolling neighborhoods and some arrests have been made.
The peak hours for burglaries are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Keech urged people to lock their doors and windows and to maintain their landscaping so plants are not blocking views. He also recommended installing lighting in the back, sides and front of their houses and now allowing solicitors to enter homes.
Len Stoudt, who lives around 12th Street and Las Palmaritas Drive, said his house was broken into in January of 2017. A crowbar was used to break into his kitchen window and many expensive movie posters, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs were stolen.
“I had never been burglarized before,” Stoudt said. “I saw open windows and oh, my God, an array of emotions from shock to utter rage.”
To learn more about the East Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association & Block Watch, visit eastsunnyslope.com.