Amarillo seeing an increase in home burglaries - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Amarillo seeing an increase in home burglaries

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AMARILLO - Crime rates are on the rise in Amarillo with a record number of homicides so far this year, but it's not just those high profile crimes that are increasing.         

So far this year burglaries are up almost 20 percent from 2012 and it's not confined to a specific part of town.

Home burglaries are happening everyday and in every neighborhood.

"It's a significant increase, but it's something we're trying to deal with," Sergeant Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department said.

Thieves have broken in to 1251 homes in Amarillo so far year, and 1739 all of last year.

Amarillo resident Steve Chitty installed a home alarm system three weeks ago after one of his rental properties was broken into.

"It saves me 20 dollars a month on my insurance," Chitty said.

But Chitty wasn't even aware several of his neighbors were burglarized in recent weeks.

Three homes were robbed on Bayswater Road within the last month. 

Police say stickers on your windows, or signs advertising alarm systems can deter criminals. But you don't have to have an alarm system to keep your home safe.

Many standard locks on doors are easy to kick in, and Barbee says making upgrades to those locks, and the striker plates that hold doors up, are a smart investment.

"In the grand scheme of things, 50 to 70 dollars on a new lock is not a lot of money," Barbee said.

Another problem is that many people don't keep serial numbers of their electronics or pictures of valuable belongings making stolen property impossible to track.

But Amarillo is lucky that the police department has the resources to investigate every burglary, because that's not the case in many larger cities.

"Our CSI guys have lifted over 1000 finger print cars on burglaries since the first of the year," Barbee said.

Amarillo Crime Prevention does security surveys of homes. Not only do those help secure your property, you could get a discount on your insurance.

 

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