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Benicia Police Department
Friday March 5th, 2010 :: 11:43 a.m. PST


Benicia home burglaries increase since the first of the year. Residents encouraged to report suspicious activity.

An increase in residential burglaries since the beginning of the year has Benicia Police concerned that criminals from other cities are targeting Benicia homes. Once again police are asking citizens to step forward and report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

"Since January we've had a little spike in home burglaries and want the community to know about it," Benicia Police Lt. Mike Daley said. "We're hoping that some recent arrests and investigations will put a stop to it, but our residents have to remain aware and report suspicious activity to us."

Nine (9) home burglaries have happened in Benicia since the first week of January. Burglars are forcing their way into some homes and stealing jewelry, electronics, and other miscellaneous household items. Most of the burglaries have centered in the Southampton area of the city, but some have now spread down to the lower west side of town.

"Two burglars were arrested shortly after a home burglary in our city on February 24th," Daley said. "In addition, on March 1st at about 3 pm, two males approached a home and were scared off by the resident, who happened to be home. We've identified those two subjects and are looking at trying to prosecute them. "

As in past arrests, Benicia police are confronted with out of town criminals. "Unfortunately, most of these types of crimes are committed by criminals from other cities. It can make it more difficult to solve the crime since no one in our community has information to come forward with after the crime has been committed. The four people we have identified are all from out of town - the pair we arrested are from Pittsburg and the other two are from American Canyon."

The key to catching burglars in the progress of committing their crimes are alert neighbors and homeowners who immediately call police to report either the crime or suspicious activities. "We want our citizens to know that the quicker they call us, the faster our officers can respond to catch the suspects," Daley said. "We have always relied on our community to help us solve crimes."

Some things residents can do to help the Benicia Police Department are:

** Call 9-1-1 immediately to report a crime in progress or a suspicious activity that can be related to a crime. This can be a vehicle around their home, or a neighbors, that they do not recognize along with people sitting in the vehicle or walking to and from a neighbors house. "If a citizen waits only a few minutes before calling us, the burglars can leave the area and get a head start on our officers", Daley said. "That's why it's extremely important to call right away."

** A common burglary tactic is for one of the burglars to knock on the front door or ring the door bell to see if someone is home. If a homeowner answers, the burglar makes up a quick story to cover their surprise. "Generally they will make up a name and ask if that person was home, ask if one of the residents car is for sale, or say they have the wrong house for some reason," Daley said. "This is the type of incident where the homeowner should call us immediately and report it. Hopefully the homeowner can also keep an eye on where the person goes, such as back to a car the homeowner can provide a description of."

** Program the Benicia Police Department's non-emergency dispatch center phone number into your cell or home phone. Citizens can program either (707)745-3412 or (707)745-3411. "Some citizens are hesitant to call 9-1-1 as they think the situation may not be an 'emergency' in their opinion, 'Daley said. "The two listed non-emergency numbers also go directly into our dispatch center and are answered by the same dispatchers who answer the 9-1-1 lines."

** Purchase a home alarm system. "I don't know if we've ever taken a burglary report from a home that was alarmed," Daley said. "This is most likely the best deterrent."

In addition to soliciting the help of alert citizens, the Benicia Police Department has a crime scene specialist process each burglary scene. Various items of evidence are being given to the California State Department of Justice for analysis.

"Our department has an excellent track record in making arrests and solving or stopping these types of crime spikes," Daley said. "We want to reiterate how important our citizens are in helping us stop these crimes."

Since the first of the year, home burglaries have occurred on the following blocks: 600 block Rose Dr., 100 block Carlisle Way, 600 block Windsor Dr., 400 block Larkin Dr., 800 block Bolton Cir., 1300 block West 2nd, 1000 block West L St., 500 block Morning Glory Drive, and the 900 block Southampton Road.

Citizens who may have information on these crimes are asked to contact Detective Kenny Hart at (707)746-4252, Detective Gregg Rouse at (707)746-4251, or CRIME STOPPERS at (707)644-STOP (7867).

Questions about this press release can be referred to Lt. Mike Daley at (707)590-4259 or reply by e-mail.

Benicia Police Department
200 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-745-3411

Michael Daley

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