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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Atkinson residents advised to lock up

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson residents advised to lock up
By James A. Kimble

ATKINSON — In the course of a week, they made off with laptop computers, jewelry and even loose change from three houses in broad daylight. But the thieves who burglarized the homes between May 27 and June 3, didn't have to work very hard, police said.

"Most of these burglaries took place in the back of the house," Lt. William Baldwin said. "Some people left their doors unlocked and some didn't."

Now, police are telling residents to bolt their back doors and doors leading to a garage or cellar, all places typically used by thieves in the recent break-ins, Baldwin said.

Since those burglaries, police also have taken reports of two car break-ins June 6 and 7. Car doors were unlocked in those cases, Baldwin said. A GPS was taken from one car. An empty wallet was taken from another car, then dropped farther down the road.

Police call it "car fishing" because thieves often drive around looking for targets that are easy to hit, then fish through the contents of a car for valuable items that can be quickly sold.

"Here's the problem," Baldwin said. "We live in a great community, but as much as I preach that you have to lock your doors, not everyone will do it."

The first two home burglaries May 27 happened between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., at homes on Fairview Farm Road and Woodside Way, he said.

Homeowners discovered someone had been inside their homes in the afternoon. The burglars were likely able to check whether anyone was home before they went inside, and could have pretended they worked for a business doing some kind of service at the house, Baldwin said.

"We've had suspicious activity like that," he said. "Someone would knock on a door and walk around to the back of the house, then leave."

The technique isn't new to the area, according to police. Baldwin said Atkinson has seen such burglaries in the past. He hopes the recent spate in property crime will encourage people to be more proactive about locking up their homes and cars.

Being so close to the highway along the Massachusetts border makes Atkinson an attractive spot for thieves to hit, he said.

"Commonly, people doing this sort of behavior are doing it for drug money," he said. "They will take the jewelry and give it to their supplier or dealer, who will either melt it down or resell it. Also, with the economy being the way it is, people are more brazen to steal stuff to make money."

Baldwin encouraged residents to call police if they suspect something doesn't look right.

"If you see something suspicious, call police," he said. "It's not a bother and we'll investigate it. We'd rather be safe than sorry."


Anonymous said...

Yes, let's cut down on the number of officers. After all, there's no crime in our little podunk town now is there...

Anonymous said...

nobody talked about cutting number of officers, they were talking about using them more efficiently

Anonymous said...

Maybe our highly effective detective will solve a case one of these days.

Anonymous said...

I agree we should spend more on police. We need publick safety over anything else. Whats a million bucks between friends? Who cares about property tax rates anyways. You people got it.

Anonymous said...

Why golly you're right! Let's save even more money by getting rid of the police department all together! And while we're at it, might as well get rid of that costly fire department too. And just look how much that library costs us! Who needs books anyway. We could probably drive the town rate down from $4 to $1! 5 full time police officers. The nerve!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Please don't ask Phil to operate efficiently. He's a department head who was once chairman of the BOS. You can't ask or tell him anything. His WANTS are bigger than his NEEDS.

Anonymous said...

you cant be the big boy on the block without big boy toys

Anonymous said...

He has to many expensive toys that he didn't pay for. If he wants big boy toys he should grow up and pay for them himself.

Anonymous said...

What does this have to do with neighbors helping neighbors and telling them to lock their doors and windows and bo on the look out for any suspicious people or cars?

Anonymous said...

Nothing, so let's all lock our doors and be on the lookout. Better safe than sorry.

Anonymous said...


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