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August 30, 2011 > Residential burglary alert

Residential burglary alert

Submitted By Chief Craig Steckler, Fremont PD

We are seeing an increase in residential burglaries where the target of the suspects is gold jewelry and small electronics. As we all know the price of gold has continued to increase and disposing of gold is as simple as stopping in almost any jewelry store and selling it. There are constant advertisements from people who will "buy your gold." Some of these people are not scrupulous business people and will buy gold from anyone without asking for identification or reasons for selling the gold.

We have made a number of arrests for residential burglary, but still see an increase in this type of criminal behavior. We would like to recommend the following:

If you are going to keep gold jewelry at home you need to secure it in a safe that cannot be carried out of the house or locked up in a secure fashion. Suspects are not sophisticated in that they are kicking in front or rear doors or smashing windows and are only in the residence for a few minutes. They know most of the common hiding places based on experience and/or talking to other burglars. They look for typical jewelry boxes and in common hiding places. They generally will not take time to try to defeat a locked box secured to the floor or safe as they just want to get in and out of the residence.

Suspects are generally young males, sometimes juveniles. It is critical that we work together and that you immediately report suspicious activity. Call the Police Department first at 510-790-6800 and push #3 for dispatch. After you report the activity then you can go on the listserv and notify neighbors. Remember we only have a few minutes before the suspects are out of the house and gone.

Suspicious activity can be people you don't recognize walking in the neighborhood. People knocking on your door and when you answer they don't have a legitimate excuse for knocking (usually looking for a fictitious person). A car parked in the neighborhood that you don't recognize or someone sitting in it waiting. People walking on your neighbor's property going around to the rear yard gate.

Due to the ease of disposing of gold and jewelry which is usually melted down the same day it is sold, it is very difficult to recover the loss. Yes we can and do make arrests but that is little solitude for the loss of family jewelry which many times has great sentimental value.

Numerous cities in the East Bay are experiencing the same crime problem and the criminals are going from one city to another to commit their crimes. Many times the crimes are committed during normal business hours, but can happen at any time of the day or night.

Our best chance at foiling a burglary is to deny the suspects what they want which is gold, jewelry and small electronics. Use common sense and don't be under the impression that you can hide these valuable items where the suspects cannot find them. Many are experienced burglars that have been arrested before and they talk among each other constantly learning where people hide valuables.

As a reminder, purchase a safe that cannot be carried away by the suspects, or a locking file cabinet bolted to the floor. Suspects don't want to spend much time trying to defeat locks they want to get in and out.

Call the Police immediately at our non-emergency number 510-790-6800 and push #3 for dispatch and report any suspicious activities you see in your neighborhood.

Please pass this information along to your friends and neighbors.

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