Burglars mostly target unoccupied houses

The city police have advised residents and members of its neighbourhood watch scheme to be vigilant against night-time burglaries during summer

A police official said that burglars often took advantage of the school holiday season when a large number of families left their residences for extended vacations.

The police have requested residents who leave their homes unoccupied for extended periods of time to inform the local police of their period of absence. This would enable law enforcers to identify un-occupied houses and arrange patrols accordingly.

Early hours

Officials said most of the break-ins reported in the district were during night. They asked residents to ensure that newspapers and milk satchels were not left to accumulate on their doorstep when they were away. These were typical tell tale signs indicating that the house owners were away.

The negligence on the part of house owners often worked to the advantage of thieves. Burglars entered houses easily through feeble and ill-secured backyard doors and also those leading to the terrace.

Thieves also used branches of trees growing close to the house to climb to the terrace or access top-floor balconies. The police said residents should take care to prune such branches for better security.

They should not leave ladders and garden tools in the open.

The police said they were tracking known burglars in the State as well as Tamil Nadu. The police said burglars often struck between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and used the early morning buses and trains to decamp with their loot.

Low detection rate

The detection rate in burglary cases was relatively low compared to other serious crimes such as armed robbery and murder for gain.

Stolen property, particularly gold and currency, is hard to trace. Increased police-citizen vigilance was the best way to prevent such crime.

Officials said, ideally, large amounts of cash and gold should be stored in bank lockers. They said professional burglars rarely left fingerprints or other clues at the scene of crime, making it difficult for investigators to apprehend the culprits.

The police have roped in night watchmen, chiefly those guarding fuel outlets, textile shops and jewellery showrooms, to get information on the movement of strangers and unfamiliar vehicles.

They have also asked banks and financial institutions to double-check their security mechanisms.

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