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Puyallup police warn about continuing problem with apartment burglaries

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Jan. 21, 2010 at 10:00 am |
January 21, 2010 10:00 am

Burglars continue to target residents living in ground-floor apartments in Puyallup.

The ongoing problem has prompted the Puyallup Police Department to issue another crime alert and set up a meeting for apartment managers and residents.

The department’s Problem-Oriented Policing unit will host the meeting Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. to discuss the problem and offer prevention tips. The meeting will be held in room No. 503 at Puyallup City Hall, 333 S. Meridian.

Puyallup police first sent out a crime alert in mid-November, warning residents about a rash of burglaries at ground-floor apartments.

“A team of officers and detectives have been aggressively working to solve this crime trend, but the burglaries continue,” today’s crime alert reported.

For the most part, the burglars are breaking into ground-floor apartments and snatching large, flat-screen TVs, electronic game consoles and laptop computers. They get inside through rear sliding glass doors and back windows, police reported. Sometimes the doors have been unlocked; other times they have been locked. The burglars have  removed some sliding glass doors from their tracks, police reported.

Most of the burglaries occur in the late afternoon to early evening when no one is home.

“The crimes have not been isolated to a particular area of the city, but instead these burglaries have occurred in many of the City’s multi-housing apartment communities,” police reported in the crime alert.

Police officers offered these prevention and safety tips:

* Lock all doors and windows. Install an inexpensive sliding glass door lock and use sticks or some other device in the windows to prevent them from being pried open.

“These two measures of security are relatively inexpensive and defeat the would-be burglar from prying your slider door open,” the crime alert notes. “The cost of these two items is approximately $20.”

* Report suspicious people or activity.

“If you see large televisions and electronics being removed from apartments, especially through back doors of apartment buildings, call the police immediately,” the crime alert states. “If you see these items being loaded into a vehicle and you don’t recognize the people as neighbors, call the police and provide a vehicle description right away.”

* Record the serial numbers of all expensive electronic items. Investigators cannot enter stolen items into a database without the serial numbers. Stolen items also are difficult to recover and return to their owners without the serial numbers.

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