July 12, 2006
A spike in burglaries in Charlottesville and Albemarle County has police alarmed and now they're working hand-in-hand to catch the thieves.
“It's definitely a spike. There's no other way to characterize it,” said Albemarle County Police Lt. John Teixeira.
Burglaries are up 50 percent in Albemarle County and in Charlottesville police say recently they're averaging three break-ins a day.
“To have 21 in seven days tells us from a historical stand point, we know we've got one or two groups or individuals that have gotten very active,” said Charlottesville Police Captain Chip Harding.
In Charlottesville, police say burglars are targeting homes around Jefferson Park, the University, Rose Hill Drive and in Belmont. Albemarle County police say apartment complexes just inside the urban ring are being hit. The thieves are getting away with cash, I-pods, laptops, X-games, jewelry and cash.
“For the most part it's something they can grab and conceal upon themselves and just walk down the road,” said Teixeira.
Police remind citizens that burglary for the most part is a crime of opportunity.
“In a number of cases windows and doors were left unlocked,” said Harding.
“Some guy is just walking by--and most of the times it is a guy--and they're walking by, they look in the vehicle, they say 'Oh, I want that CD, I want that X-Box, I want those sunglasses' and [try the door]. And if the door is unlocked, they're in and out in two seconds,” said Teixeira.
Detectives from both jurisdictions met this afternoon, comparing suspects, looking for common threads and joining forces to try and catch what they believe could be a small ring of thieves.
Police do say overall, violent crime is down in the area; its just property crime that is on the rise.