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Crimetracker - Burglaries On The Rise

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One small Kansas community has seen a 100 percent rise in burglaries this year. Newton police say they're fighting an uphill battle as they try to stop the trend as they aren't sure why burglars are targeting their town.

Newton police say they've taken 113 reports of burglaries since they beginning of the year. They had a total of only 118 burglaries in all of 2011.

George Casanova is one of those victims. His BMX bike, worth $350, was recently stolen from garage. He says he was shocked to find out someone had the nerve to break into his home.

"Surprised, someone came in my closed garage and got my bike out," said Casanova.

Lt. Eric Murphy says the burglars are targeting everything from cars parked on the streets to homes and garages. Since he first noticed the trend, his officers have been watching neighborhoods more closely and offering tips.

"Removing the temptation is a big factor," said Murphy.

The numbers are staggering. If the trend continues, the amount of burglaries in Newton will double from last year by the end of 2012. So why is there such a huge spike? Murphy isn't sure, but he has a few ideas.

"We're wondering if it is not associated with the economy, people needing money," said Murphy. "We're also looking at whether or not people are stealing stuff because they need drugs to support their habits."

Casanova is hoping he'll eventually get his bike back. In the meantime, he's doing things a bit differently.

"I've been locking everything up here lately, locking the care, garage, house," said Casanova.

Newton police say to avoid becoming a victim you should keep your houses, cars and garage doors locked at all times.


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