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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Winter break brings surge of break-ins

Ten residential burglaries were reported to the Davis Police Department (DPD) over winter break. These crimes add to the increasing number of residential burglaries throughout the city.

The number of reported burglaries nearly doubled, according to the police department’s quarterly report. On average, 63 burglaries are reported to the police each quarter.

Last quarter, 115 burglaries took place. About 45 percent of these crimes took place in West Davis.

Ben Taylor, a senior political science major, and his roommates were victims. Their three-bedroom, two-story apartment in North Davis was burglarized in December.

Taylor and his three roommates were out of town for winter break when the burglary occurred.

“[The suspects] were mainly after electronics,” Taylor said. “Basically anything that was plugged into a wall, they took.”

The items taken from the apartment were worth thousands, Taylor said.

In 2010, over $450,000 worth of property were reported stolen from residential areas. These items range from yarn to kayak paddles to LCD televisions.

“All of the stuff is replaceable,” Taylor said. “The weirdest part is knowing that somebody other than my roommates were in the apartment. That’s the worst part of it.”

A crime analysis report from the DPD notes that 45 percent of burglaries that have occurred in the last three years were preventable. Police reports indicate that many instances occurred when burglars entered residential premises through unlocked windows or doors.

The DPD provides a free residential security check to help solve this growing problem. The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) program offers education on proper lighting and landscaping to increase security of residential and commercial areas. Any resident can contact the crime prevention unit to enroll in CPTED.

The police department also sponsors other crime prevention programs, such as the Neighborhood Watch program and the Vacation House Check program.

Despite the police department’s effort to decrease the rate of burglaries, some residents feel that they are not doing enough to follow up on burglaries that have occurred.

Prav Singh, who graduated in the fall, was also a victim of a winter break burglary. Unlike Taylor, Singh did not report the incident to the police.

“I came back in January with my front door wide open and my living room empty,” Singh said.

Fortunately, he and his roommate were in the process of moving out of their rented house on J Street when the burglary occurred.

Most of their possessions, including electronics were moved out of the house before the burglary, Singh said. A coffee table and some kitchen items were stolen from the house.

“We decided not to report it because we didn’t care about the stuff anyway. We were just going to throw it all away,” Singh said. “We also thought the police wouldn’t do too much to help us recover those items at that point.”

Taylor echoed a similar concern.

“What we were told is to give [the police] a list of as many items that we knew were taken,” Taylor said. “They were put in a system, and if for some reason the police come across them, they would notify us.”

According to the UC Davis Police Department (UCDPD), each burglary case is treated as a unique circumstance.

“It depends on what information is available,” said Sgt. Barry Swartwood of the UCDPD, about follow-up procedures for burglaries. “If there are suspects, we interview neighbors to see if they saw anything. It all depends on what we get.”

SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at city@aggie.org


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