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4977A Message from the Chief of Police Regarding Residential Burglaries - Community Advisory

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  • Cathy Plevy
    Sep 5 7:57 AM
      Throughout the months of June, July and August, the City of Takoma Park
      has experienced an increase in residential burglaries. Between June 11
      and August 31, 23 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
      1000 block of Elm Avenue
      6700 block of Gude Avenue
      6700 block of Prince George's Avenue
      7000 block of Woodland Avenue
      Unit block of Walnut AVenue
      6600 block of Eastern Avenue
      7500 block of Piney Branch Road
      Unit block of Columbia Avenue
      500 block of Albany Avenue

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

      Various property was targeted, including but not limited to jewelry,
      phones, televisions, computers, laptops, check books, iPods and

      Takoma Park Police and detectives are working diligently to catch the

      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
      * 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 warm or nice 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

      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@....

      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

      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!

      Catherine E. Plevy
      Executive Assistant
      Public Information Officer (PIO)
      Office of the Chief of Police
      7500 Maple Avenue
      Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
      (301) 891-7142

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