Rash of burglaries reported in historic neighborhood

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By David Giuliani

The historic neighborhood on the east side has seen around 15 burglaries in recent weeks, says the leader of a residents’ group.

The group has been issuing mass e-mails regularly about burglaries and other happenings in the area.

Ron Wooten-Green, coordinator of the Historic North New Town Neighborhood Association, said most of the break-ins have been during the day.

“The police are trying to solve them, and we’re trying to help,” Wooten-Green said.

On Monday, three burglaries were reported — two in the 800 block of Fourth Street and one in the 1200 block of Seventh Street. One resident reported seeing the perpetrators on Seventh, saying they appeared to be high-school-age boys, according to an association e-mail.

One of the break-ins on Fourth involved the disablement of a security alarm and the theft of an antique cabinet and antique clock.

Other break-ins have been reported on Third Street and Friedman Avenue, among other streets. The one on Third took place during the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 16, which association officials said at the time was at least the 11th burglary in a month. The burglar entered through the back alley and a small kitchen window, according to the association. An old computer and other electronic equipment were taken.

That prompted the group to warn that it was seeing a pattern in the break-ins — those targeted have alley exposure and burglars have been entering through rear windows, the association states.

The group is asking residents to keep an eye on their neighbors’ homes, inventory their valuables, record serial numbers and take photos of items without serial numbers.

Deputy Police Chief Christian Montaño confirmed that burglaries have surged in the historic neighborhood.

“We’re taking active measures to counter the burglaries,” he said, but he didn’t disclose the methods.

Montaño said it’s not unusual for burglaries to happen during the day because burglars know many people are at work.

Fliers have been appearing in the neighborhood stating that “violent criminals” have been entering homes, although there is no evidence that they have attacked anyone.

“They are stealing expensive items and trashing homes in broad daylight. Protect yourselves please,” the flier reads.

Association leaders say they don’t know who is putting up the fliers.