String of burglaries has Cape police on watch

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Cape Girardeau Police Department has issued an advisory due to an unusual number of burglaries that have occurred in recent weeks.

According to a statement released by the Cape Girardeau Police Department on Thursday, most of the burglaries have targeted businesses, with money being the primary item stolen. The police say owners and employees can reduce their vulnerability by checking security measures, such as making sure locks, lighting and alarms work properly.

Sgt. Barry Hovis said most of the burglaries are happening after closing and before opening of business. No one has been arrested, but police are following leads. Hovis said there is possibly a connection to the Keystone Drive/Mount Auburn Road area, and the person or people involved appear to be mobile or have a vehicle.

So far this year, Cape Girardeau has had 97 reported burglaries and 764 reports of stealing, which is nearly identical to the 97 burglaries and 723 thefts from this same time in 2006.

"They go in spurts," Hovis said of the burglaries and thefts. "These kind of crimes tend to pick up in late spring and early summer and during holidays."

Three hundred twenty-five burglaries and 1,754 thefts were reported in Cape Girardeau in 2005. However, both numbers went down in 2006; burglaries came down 14 percent to 279 reported incidents, and thefts 6 percent, with 1,654 reported incidents.

Cape Girardeau police said the best way for people to protect themselves is to keep your doors securely locked. For businesses, start-up cash should be kept to a minimum and placed in a safe that is unmovable or attached to a floor. Signs advertising security measures may reduce the chance of being burglarized.

Anyone with information that may help solve these incidents may call the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 335-6621 or Crime Stoppers at 332-0500.

jsamons@semissourian.com335-6611, extension 245

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