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MailTribune.com
  • Burglary increase blamed on drugs

  • Reported burglaries across Medford are up nearly 30 percent compared with the same time last year, according to crime statistics released by the Medford Police Department.
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    • How to help prevent burglaries
      Lock doors and windows (use locks and dowels on windows so they can only open a few inches when you need some air).
      • Close blinds and curtains when not home.
      • Leave a light on in...
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      How to help prevent burglaries
      Lock doors and windows (use locks and dowels on windows so they can only open a few inches when you need some air).

      • Close blinds and curtains when not home.
      • Leave a light on inside and out, or put them on a timer (motion lights work well).
      • If you leave town, consider a house sitter, tell a trusted neighbor, and put a vacation stop on newspapers. Don't let everyone know you are out of town, and be cautious of social media. You can post vacation pictures when you get home. (Most burglars have knowledge of when the victim is away).
      • Consider video cameras and/or alarm systems.
      • Be a nosy neighbor. If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, document it and call the police.
      • Keep bushes and shrubbery away from windows. Burglars like to hide behind them while trying to access a window.
      • Document all of your property. Write down serial numbers, and photograph jewelry.
      • Be suspicious of anyone knocking on your door for an odd reason. Burglars will do this to see whether you are home and scope out your place.




      — Medford Police Department
  • Reported burglaries across Medford are up nearly 30 percent compared with the same time last year, according to crime statistics released by the Medford Police Department.
    From January through April, 214 burglaries were reported in Medford, a 27 percent increase from the 186 burglaries reported during that span in 2013.
    "It's not that we have that many more burglars out there, it's that we have people out there that are continually doing burglaries," said MPD Lt. Mike Budreau. "I do think that there is a correlation between the burglaries and the drug use. Drugs are the second-most-reported crime that we investigate behind thefts."
    The 600 drug offenses reported to MPD during the first four months of this year marks a 10 percent decline compared to last year's 672, but the information officers are gathering from burglary suspects during arrests suggests drugs are the driving force behind property crimes such as theft and burglary.
    "We ask them why they do this, and we find that the majority of people that are committing property crimes are doing so to supply their habit," Budreau said. "If there was some way that we could deal with the amount of people addicted to methamphetamine, heroin and prescription medications, we would start to see other crimes like burglary decrease."
    From 2010 through last year, burglaries have risen steadily in Medford. In 2010, 416 reported burglaries marked a 21 percent increase compared with 2009, and that increased 10 percent in 2011, 9 percent more in 2012 and 8 percent more in 2013.
    Though they are lulling so far this year, reported drug crimes have risen every year in that span except last year, when they fell 6 percent.
    Reported thefts also have been growing. In 2010, 8 percent more thefts were reported than the 2,705 reported in 2009. Department crime statistics show 2011 with a 22 percent increase over 2010 and 2012 with an 8 percent increase over 2011. Thefts through the first four months of this year are outpacing the same span last year by 15 percent, and 2013 saw an 8 percent increase in reported thefts compared with 2012.
    "When you look at the motivating factor ... it's not to put food on the table; it's not because they wanted the lawn mower; it's not because they needed the entertainment system," Budreau said. "Property that is being stolen is being traded or pawned for drugs."
    Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.
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