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Detering burglaries

Burglaries are keeping the Keizer Police Department busy. There have been a rash of break-ins recently including at four local dentist’s offices in the past week.

Keizer Police’s part-time Crime  Analyst Cara Steele is on the job. Hopefully she can deduce if there is enough of a pattern to determine the same culprits in all these burglaries. At least she can give direction to police patrols of what to be on the look out for.

The list of things business owners (and homeowners, for that matter) should do put out by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the police department, should be heeded. Police officers can’t be everywhere, so the public needs to be as proactive as possible in protecting themselves from burglars and even graffiti vandals.

Burglaries are not only a major hassle for a business owner, but for their customers and clients as well if the criminals get their hands on personal information in files. The break-ins at the dental offices are serious because it is not only patient information that can be purloined but also any number of drugs that can be snatched.

Every business should keep an inventory of their equipment and products. In lieu of a safe, each business should have a procedure for securing cash overnight.

A burglary can result in a business installing a security system, which is good for many reasons including better insurance rates. The ideal is to install security systems before something happens.

There are neighborhood watches in residential areas. Businesses should create the same model. It would certainly help if the police let the public know what kinds of businesses were hit. If burglars are hitting businesses with something in common that would go a long way for like-businesses to take extra steps to deter criminals.

We can speculate why there have a rash of burglaries along River Road in recent weeks. It could be the same people doing it for fun.  Maybe the economy has driven someone to do something drastic. Or it could be an organized effort, which would be troubling indeed.

Patroling police officers should be a deterent, but it is not for those who are determined to break in. The police detectives and its crime analyist will sift through the crime scene looking for clues and a pattern. We don’t have the luxury of relying solely on law enforcement officers.  Business owners have to do what they can to make it harder to break into their stores and offices. They should assure there is nothing of value or importance that is easy to grab.

The Keizer Police Department will respond quickly when informed of a crime in progress.  It’s up to all of us to minimize the possibility of a burglary in the first place. The police and the Chamber of Commerce were quick and prudent to remind us all what we can do ourselves.