Decatur Police Provide Data on Recent Burglaries and Reports of Suspicious ActivityDecatur Metro | October 7, 2013
Decatur Police’s Jennifer Ross has provided us with the monthly trends of recent arrests and reports of suspicious activity back to April. Note the increases of reports in July and the drop in burglaries. Also note the increase in auto entries this past month and don’t leave any valuables in your car – especially in plain sight.
Sgt. Ross also provides detail on what constitutes “suspicious activity” and a call to stay alert as the holiday season approaches.
Suspicious Person/Vehicle/Activity Calls
April – 226
May – 200
June – 248
July – 416
August – 213
September – 207
Reported Burglaries Reported Entering Autos
April: 10 18
May: 15 14
June: 20 12
July: 9 11
August: 11 9
September: 17 33
*These numbers include cases that have been cleared, unfounded and that are still under investigation.
When you look over some of the arrests officers have made in the past few weeks, you will see several cases where a concerned citizen or homeowner called police to report something suspicious which resulted in arrests being made. Suspects looking to break into a house or car are not going to do so when they see the police. They are going to wait until an officer passes by or they will simply go to another location to commit their crime. Having the eyes of the 20,000 plus residents of Decatur watching out along with the officers makes a difference. Please do not hesitate to call when you see something or someone suspicious. Your call could result in an officer simply checking out a situation, thanking someone for their time and going about their way. Your call could also result in an officer stopping a crime before it happens, motivating a would-be thief to leave the area or lead to an arrest if a crime has occurred. It also announces to potential suspects that our community pays attention and calls the police.
We have received many questions directly to the police department and in community meetings regarding what is a suspicious person. Suspicious indicates behavior, not what a person looks like. What is the person doing that has drawn your attention? Is someone simply walking down the street or are they looking into vehicles, walking up into driveways or loitering/circling the area? Is there a vehicle in your neighbor’s driveway that you do not recognize? Is there a vehicle that you do not recognize circling your neighborhood? Is someone knocking on your door and surprised when you answer or are they trying to solicit something from you? All of these are reasons to call the police and let the officers check out the situation.
As the holiday season approaches, reports of burglaries and entering autos typically increase. Please look out for your neighbors and call police immediately when you see something or someone suspicious. Practice basic safety habits like making sure doors and windows are secure when you go to bed at night or leave your residence and making sure your vehicle is secured and valuable property is out of sight. Also, if you have an alarm system please test it to make certain everything is working and that your monitoring company is calling the correct police department in a timely manner. An alarm may not prevent a break-in but it limits the time a burglar can spend in your home and draws the attention of neighbors or people passing in the area.
We want to thank everyone who has called to report suspicious activity. As you will see when reading over some of our recent arrests, calls from the community MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Stay aware and please do not hesitate to call us. It takes the police and the community working together to keep Decatur safe.