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Rash of Burglaries Prompt Police to Step Up Patrols

There's been an increase in both residential and commercial burglaries within the last two months, and Mill Valley Police are encouraging people to take safety precautions.

With a rash of burglaries across the city and throughout southern Marin over the last few months, Mill Valley Police are warning homeowners and businesses to stay alert and take precautions.

Since January 1, there have been a total of five residential and six commercial burglaries, said Mill Valley Police Det. Sgt. Paul Wrapp.

At the same time last year there were three residential and five commercial burglaries. While the difference isn’t off the charts, there’s been enough of an increase in the last two months for police to step up patrols in certain areas, dispatch unmarked vehicles, and work in conjunction with other agencies.

“We’re being proactive to try to catch someone in the act,” Wrapp said.

Some of the most vulnerable areas have been on “winding roadways where houses tend to be less visible from the road and other neighborhood houses,” Wrapp said.

Targeted areas have included Shelley Drive, Summit Ave., the 400 block of Sycamore, and the 100 block of Hillside. Wrapp has also received a few phone calls from neighborhood groups, and met this week with residents from the 400 and 500 block of Edgewood to talk about safety concerns.

On the commercial side, businesses on East Blithedale, Miller Ave. and Redwood Highway have been hit. In 2012, burglaries occurred at Tony Tutto Pizza, Red Dragon Yoga and Caletti Jungsten Construction, to name a few.

“It’s been all over,” Wrapp said. “I don’t think there’s necessarily a reason why.”

The commercial burglaries occur almost exclusively at night, while the residential burglaries are usually during the day while people are at work, Wrapp said. The best and most obvious precaution is for people to lock their doors and turn on their alarms, “even if you’re only stepping out for an hour,” he said.

“A lot of people don’t lock their doors, unfortunately,” he said. “If someone is watching your house, the second you’re gone they’re going to go do their business.”

Thieves also target easy-to-carry items like cash, laptops, iPads and jewelry. So it's smart to keep jewelry, especially family heirlooms, locked up, and have photos and appraisals of your valuables just in case.

If you’re on vacation, don’t let your mail pile up, and either stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up. It's also a good idea to look into timers for your lights and television to make it appear as though someone is home. The Mill Valley Police Department also offers Vacation Watch checks for residents while they are away.

If you see something suspicious, call 911. If you are interested in a check, contact info@cityofmillvalley.org, and for information about starting a Neighborhood Watch in your area, contact spatton@cityofmillvalley.org or visit www.usaonwatch.org.

Past Burglaries

Residential Commercial 2012 35 19 2011 34 21

Are you more concerned than usual about the rash of burglaries? Let us know in the Comments.

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