Though it appeared that Cape Girardeau might have had fewer burglaries in 2008 than in the previous year, a rash of incidents in the past few weeks sent numbers higher than expected, police said.
Cape Girardeau police are investigating a series of burglaries, about half of which may be connected, said Sgt. Barry Hovis, spokesman for the police department.
In determining whether any of the burglaries are related, police look at where the crime occurred, the method used to gain entry and what was taken during the incident, Hovis said.
In the 43 burglaries reported since Aug. 2, about 20 of them contain similarities that lead investigators to believe there may be a link between them, Hovis said. About 17 of those occurred in December, and at least five have occurred so far in January, Hovis said.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol statistics, 334 burglaries were reported in Cape Girardeau in 2008, 332 in 2007.
Police encourage neighbors to watch out for one another and report suspicious activity, writing down descriptions of vehicles, Hovis said.
Items taken most often seem to be jewelry or cash, and sometimes firearms, Hovis said.
"It seems to be things that can be traded quickly for value," he said.
In at least 10 of the burglaries, perpetrators gained entry by prying open windows or doors, Hovis said.
No one has been assaulted or injured during any of the reported burglaries.
Jackson police are also investigating a string of five burglaries in the same neighborhood, said Lt. Rodney Barnes, spokesman for the Jackson Police Department. The crimes have occurred close enough together that investigators believe they may be related, Barnes said.