Posted: Aug 8, 2012 7:22 AM by Stan Parker - Q2 News
Updated: Aug 8, 2012 7:28 AM
BILLINGS - "Lights, locks, the law. We're basically telling people, turn your lights on, lock up your facility, and call law enforcement," Billings Police Chief Rich St. John told reporters Tuesday.
The number of burglaries increased dramatically across the Magic City this summer. For May through July of last year, 178 burglaries were reported. For that same period this year the number jumped 33 percent to 237.
Billings Police track crime patterns with detailed maps that help officers work proactively in investigation and prevention.
St. John also asks citizens to step up to the plate to help protect themselves, noting the high number of burglaries where thieves enter with no forced entry. This type burglary accounts for more than half of all reported incidents this summer.
"This is a number that needs to go down. And this is just a matter of being disciplined to lock your doors, close your windows, things of that sort."
And just because residents are on the premises, doesn't mean thieves will stay away.
"And the other thing that we're concerned with is that some of these burglaries, we're seeing a bit more bolder action on behalf of the suspects," St. John said.
"Specifically, we're seeing some instances that are taking place while residents are at home. We just need people to take prudent steps in protecting themselves and their property," he continued.
St. John advises residents to avoid confrontation and keep safe.
"We're not in Mayberry. You can't leave your doors open. We're truly a big city. We're a big city in a rural state. And we have big city problems."