8/21/2014

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CRIME TRACKER: Spring burglaries cut in half

CRIME TRACKER: Spring burglaries cut in half
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Spring's surge of warmer weather hasn't translated into a surge in crime here in Yakima, at least not yet.

The KIMA Crime Tracker found burglaries aren't close to hitting last year's start to the season.

Balmy weather can put a spring in your step but police say It can also give burglars a jump. Just ask Juana Silva.

"Somebody just broke into one of my bedrooms," said Silva. "They broke the window."

Her home was hit last summer.

"They just broke into my neighbor's house about, less than a week ago," said Silva.

In fact, her whole block has been hit. Some neighbors again and again.

"To come home and to know what you've been broke into, your privacy, your values," Silva said. "It's scary."

Her neighbor's home is one of nearly three dozen homes and businesses across Yakima burglarized since the start of spring.

Over the same two weeks last year, Yakima saw more than double that.

"They'll go up and knock on the front door," said Yakima Police Officer Mark Quillen. "Knock knock knock! Nobody answers, then they come back here."

Yakima police say there's no predicting when or where it will happen.

"A heavy door that swings makes it really hard for them to get in," said Quillen.

But, there are ways to slow crooks down or force them to go elsewhere.

"Another dead bolt down low, especially, if it's a door you don't use often," Quillen said.

Silva relies on an alarm system and says fewer burglaries so far this season won't change that.

"It's better to be prepared than to be sorry," said Silva.

Advice police say holds true. Now that spring is only starting to heat up, the concern is that crooks will get busier.

Yakima's business plan for the year set a goal to reduce the number of burglaries citywide.

YPD plans to renew public campaigns that include citizen academies, raising awareness and increasing cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.
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