Home Burglary Trends 9/30/13
CBS 7 News
September 30, 2013
Midland-Odessa, TX - From social media to simply looking for habits police say most home burglaries are when nobody's home.
They say most cases can be prevented.
“Appliances, jewelry anything they can sell easy or pawn,” said Officer margarita Strahan with the Midland Police Department. She says home burglaries are becoming all too common.
“The burglary reports that I’ve had to take are usually when the homeowner is at work or on vacation,” she said.
She says the thieves are all ages.
“If they're young kids, then they just don't want to be in school,” she explained, “If they’re grownups they are either involved with narcotics or lazy and don't want to find a job.”
Burglars also do not have a preference in location but what they do have in common is how they discover you’re not home.
Some lurk the ally ways in search for open garage doors.
“There’s an unfamiliar person in the alley or their dogs are barking,” she said.
Others simply knock at the front door and if there’s no answer then the back door is broken into.
Which is what Abby Thompson believes happened to her last month.
“They used a crowbar and when they couldn't get it open and they busted in the windows,” she said.
She says the family was just down the street at a neighbor’s. Over $20,000 worth of valuables was stolen.
“Just fear at first then you once you know what's missing you feel violated, completely taken aback that someone would have to come into your home especially in the middle of the day,” she said.
Officer Strahan says she responds to at least five burglaries a week.
She says thieves take notice when a homeowner is checking in places out of town online or making announcements about a big trip.
“Call the police department and let them know you're on a house watch and you need a patrol,” Strahan advised, “Let your family members, neighbors, people you trust know you will be out of town.
She says even supporting your son or daughters sport can give away when your not home.
“You’re advertising that your son is in football and you're more than likely going to be at the football game on a Friday night,” she said, “These kids are smart.”
Strahan says because of the small town culture many don’t lock their doors or consider alarm systems, but Abby says things are not how they used to be.
“The doors are always locked,” she said, “It's sad, really.”
CBS 7 also checked with Midland and Ector County officials who say they are dealing with more victims in the oilfield industry who are gone from their homes days at a time.