The Davis Police Department (DPD) has reported an influx of burglaries in the past month.
From Jan. 1 to 9, DPD reported eight residential burglaries. The increase in burglaries continued throughout January. On Jan. 24, the Davis Police reported a total of 21 burglaries had taken place in the past two weeks.
The suspects have been stealing laptops, computers, jewelry, purses, electronics and gaming systems.
“These numbers aren’t something that we would expect [to be] out of [the] ordinary. Some people are away for the holidays,” said Lt. Glenn Glasgow of the DPD. “So people are gone for one or two days when they report, but anytime we have these numbers it raises a red flag, especially with the pattern of unlocked residences and windows. We always try to get the word out.”
Glasgow said that burglaries usually increase in line with UC Davis’ finals week as well as the holidays. Students tend to be more forgetful about safety precautions during finals week and burglars take advantage of this. They also take advantage of the holiday breaks when many people are on vacation.
An abnormal amount of the recent burglaries have occurred while a resident is present at home. This type of burglary is classified as a cat burglary. One specific burglary took place after the resident’s doorbell rang, and the resident only noticed that the burglar had been in his home after finding a window screen had been removed.
“The first step is to safeguard yourself and anyone else in that house. Possibly lock yourself in your room and call 911,” Glasgow said in reference to cat burglaries. “We don’t advocate confronting the person because we don’t know who it is and whether they are armed. So we always say stay sheltered in a locked room.”
Out of the 21 burglaries that have occurred, 10 were in West Davis, four were in Central Davis, two were in East Davis and five were in South Davis.
“Lock your doors and windows, especially when you’re away from home and you’re sleeping. Make sure shrubbery around your house is trimmed so that no burglar can get through the windows,” Glasgow said. “Also, just make sure the doors and locks are in good order. If someone rings your doorbell, acknowledge the person is outside so they know someone is home.”
A few other preventative measures and tips that the DPD recommends are to make sure all windows, doors, garages and side gates are locked when not being used. They suggest locking doors while at home.
The DPD stressed that a large amount of burglaries due to unlocked entry points are still occurring.
The Davis Police encourage residents to be wary of suspicious activities, such as a person walking or driving in your neighborhood at very slow speeds for a long period of time. They advise to call in if something does not feel or look right.
Many students and residents are not as aware of the number of burglaries as they should be due to Davis’ supposedly safe reputation.
“I feel safe here because I can go out at night and feel safe even if I’m alone, partly because of the reputation and the community,” said Lela Schwartz, a first-year international relations major.
Although Davis is known as a relatively safe place, keeping cautious at all times is important.
“If you’re walking, it’s best to walk in pairs and be aware of your surroundings. People will be picking people that aren’t paying attention,” said Lt. Don Malloy of the UC Davis Police Department. “If you’re making eye contact with someone, it will make someone less likely to do something.”
KAMILA KUDELSKA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.