Benton Harbor Police asking for your help in stopping burglaries - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor Police asking for your help in stopping burglaries

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Benton Harbor Police say there have been numerous burglaries in the city in the past few months.
In the past week alone, there have been seven.  The Director of Public Safety, Roger Lange, said everyone is all in this together.  The police are taking steps to combat this but he said residents can also take steps to help.

Benton Harbor resident Meosha Hull said someone tried to break into her home about two weeks ago.  She heard a noise at her window and when she checked it out the screen on her window was broken.  "I was scared.  I called all my sisters and brothers so they could come over here and stay with me cause I'm scared."  No one got into Hull's house but she said her neighbors haven't been so lucky.  "I moved in in September and since I've been staying here I've heard about a lot of break ins like close to my house," said Hull.

Director of Public Safety, Roger Lange, has been hearing a lot of those stories lately.  "We've been plagued with a number of home and business break-ins," said Lange.  It's been an extra challenge for the department since there's no pattern to the break-ins.  "If we had the pattern down it would be stopped by now," said Lange.

The break-ins are happening all over the city, they're happening at all different times of day, the intruders are entering homes several different ways, and they aren't always breaking into occupied homes.  "We've had a Surge in people breaking into vacant homes and stealing the plumbing out of them," said Lange.

So police are stepping up their patrols.  "When we see individuals walking through neighborhoods with no destination we're stopping those individuals," said Lange.  He added they'll also be identifying the individuals and taking pictures of them.  The pictures will be kept in case something does happen in that neighborhood.

But Lange said they also need citizens help in stopping these crimes.  "Be a good neighbor.  When their neighbors aren't home watch out for their neighbors."  And if you see anything suspicious call police.  If you see someone unfamiliar on a neighbors front porch or knocking on their door then leaving that's a red flag.  Lange said a lot of times to determine if someone is home or not thieves will knock on the door then walk down the street and wait to see if anyone answers the door.

Another way residents can help the investigation is to write down the serial numbers for things like flat screen TV's or other items thieves go after.  Or at least mark them in some way so that when they are found police know who they belong to.

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