Home thefts up; auto thefts down in one Region 8 county

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

INDEPENDENCE, CO (KAIT) - Burglaries have become something of the norm in Independence County. Lieutenant Jimmy Smith with the Sheriff's Department says so far this year they've had over 500 burglaries. Fifty in the month of November, alone.

"As I rounded the corner to the door, I realized there was a hole in the door and broken glass everywhere, where someone had broken in," says Juanita Kerr. Juanita and her husband own the J & J Military Surplus store in downtown Batesville. She still has the rock that was thrown through the glass door window, and what's worse the store alarm didn't go off. "The way they entered the alarm didn't go off," says Kerr.

The criminals made off with several handgun holsters. Lieutenant Jimmy Smith with Independence County Sheriff's Department says this time of year cases like this are nothing new. "For November 2010 for burglaries we've had 50," says Smith.

Fifty burglaries, including both residential and commercial. While you may think it would be easier to break into a car than a home, only 6 car thefts were reported. Smith says in many cases the criminal either knows or watches the victim. "Knows their schedule, knows if they're going on vacation, knows if they're not going to be home for a few days," says Smith.

Smith says this holiday season folks need to keep a tight lock on their home. "Just make sure all your doors and windows are locked, maybe leave some lights on, call your neighbors and let them know if you're going to be gone so they can watch your house," he says.

As for Kerr, she's taken steps to make sure she won't fall victim to burglary again. "I put expanded metal on the front door to make it a little bit more secure, and we put metal bars up in the window," says Kerr.

Lieutenant Smith says with seven detectives it can often be challenging to deal with all the cases. For more tips to keep from falling victim to theft, go to http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-to-prevent-home-burglary-house-break-in/

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