Summer Residential Burglaries *Update* - Community Advisory

Throughout the months of June and July, the City of Takoma Park has experienced an increase in residential burglaries. Between June 11 and July 31, 13 residential burglaries have occurred. All incidents took place at various times throughout the days/evenings. The burglaries occurred in the following areas:

1100 block of Linden Avenue

7400 block of Jackson Avenue

7400 block of Buffalo Avenue

7300 block of Baltimore Avenue

1200 block of Myrtle Avenue

7000 block of Sycamore Avenue

Unit block of Manor Circle

8300 block of Eastridge Avenue

7100 block of New Hampshire Avenue

400 block of Elm Avenue

6700 block of Gude Avenue

To obtain entry, suspect(s) broke residential windows in four cases, pried a door open in one case, forced entry through the front door in two cases, opened an unlocked window in one case and entered five residences by unknown means.

Anyone with information about these burglaries is asked to please call us at 301-270-1100.

Use your cell phone to send an anonymous tip to the Takoma Park Police Department.

* Text to 847411

* Type TPPDTIP at the beginning of your message.

* Type your message, including as much detail as possible, to ensure that your tip is thoroughly investigated.

Or report on Facebook

If you see a crime in progress, contact the Takoma Park Police at 301-270-1100. If you need to report an emergency that involves the need for fire or rescue services, call 9-1-1.

 

Below are safety tips to take into consideration:

 

With the warmer weather, it is tempting to want to leave your windows open during the day. However, Chief Goldberg asks that you create as many barriers between an intruder and their attempts to gain access to your home and/or valuables as possible.

Burglary is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A home that presents itself as insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured. Please review the following in order to protect your home and your valuables:

1. The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes! Report burglaries immediately! Get to know your neighbors!

2. If you do encounter a burglar in your home, please attempt to secure yourself in a room where you have access to a phone and immediately contact police. Do not confront suspect(s) or attempt to fight and/or chase after suspect(s).

3. Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence. If you have not checked your house, let the police check it for you. Leave the house and call the police.

4. It’s important to keep a list of serial numbers and/or receipts of all electronic equipment, i.e., televisions, stereos, cell phones, iPods, computers, as well as a list of items that are easily sold or pawned, i.e., jewelry, collectibles. Photographs or video tapes are always useful to keep a record of what you own (and insurance companies would also find this useful and convenient). Update your list periodically and do not leave it in the residence, if possible. Use an engraving pen to write your current driver's license number on your property. Burglars don't want marked merchandise.

5. Make it time-consuming for a burglar to break into your home - secure your residence! Sometimes installing deadbolt locks on all exterior doors or windows will deter a criminal; they don’t want to spend too much time in one place. Check and double-check that all doors and windows are shut and locked before you leave the house; even if you are leaving for a short period of time.

6. Display "Beware" signs. If you have a dog or an alarm system, put up signs that say you do. They do deter thieves. Residential alarms should be designed so as to give protection when you are inside as well as when you are away.

7. When you leave your residence, do not leave valuables in plain sight. For instance, if your dining room table is within view of a window, don’t leave a laptop computer sitting there. When possible, pull shades or curtains so that property cannot be seen from outside the residence.

8. Be one step ahead of the burglar – case your own home and look for easy ways into your home and then take appropriate measures to correct it. Takoma Park Police offer a home security survey free of charge. A residential security survey is an inspection of your home, performed by a police officer, in an effort to identify possible improvements to the physical security of your residence and to review personal safety and security habits. The goal is to decrease the likelihood that you might be victimized by a crime. Home security surveys are offered to homeowners living in the City of Takoma Park, by appointment. They generally take about an hour of your time and can be set up during evening hours. To schedule a security survey and a review of personal safety issues, contact our Community Outreach Program officer, Sgt. Paula Gaskin, at 301-891-7126 or 301-270-1100. You can also e-mail her at paulag@takomaparkmd.gov.

9. If you see someone suspicious who does not belong in your neighborhood, call the police. If you see a suspicious vehicle, call the police. Write down the license plates of any suspicious vehicles. Write down a description of any suspicious persons. You can never be too careful. A lack of information on suspects can hinder an investigation.

10. Burglars in most instances will case a neighborhood or the routine of residents. Every once in a while, leave at a different time. Change your routine to throw the burglar off. If you are not consistent, how can they be?

11. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys. Do not leave one.

12. Remember that you do not have to answer your door. Once you do, you are easily vulnerable. Do not open for a stranger. Verify who is there. Have him/her step to where you can see who it is. When in doubt, send him/her away. Be sure that a peephole viewer is installed.

These tips are not intended to scare or frighten anyone, however, crime is a fact of life everywhere. As partners, we can discourage criminals from targeting certain areas. We can make it hard for them.

Let’s make a difference together. Let’s demonstrate to the criminals that we are putting them on notice that they will be caught!