Dothan, AL - Just last month, District Attorney Doug Valeska said he is pushing for automatic prison time for any convicted burglar. But even that warning has slowed down the criminals.
Dothan Police officers say it hasn’t been this bad since last summer.
“This is a map of the city of Dothan. The red dots indicate burglaries in the city limits in the month of March,” said Dothan Police Lieutenant Will Benny.
Those 41 pins mark homes that been broken into this month. Just in the last week, police responded to 14 burglaries.
“We have noticed in more of your densely populated neighborhoods where there are a lot of houses together, easier targets, working class neighborhood. Those are what are being targeted,” said Benny.
Thieves are getting bolder, targeting homes at any time.
“The daytime burglary usually consists of someone going to the front door, knocking to see if anyone is home, and then going to the back of the house and making entry through a window or kicking in the back door. Once inside the targets are usually tv’s, guns, jewelry, and any cash laying around,” said Benny.
It doesn’t take long for them to get the goods out. Most burglaries only last about five minutes. While there’s no clear way to protect your home, police say there are a few things you can do.
Benny said, “You want to record all of your serial numbers. Take pictures of jewelry you have. Any kinds of firearms try to keep them secure, either A. very well hidden, or better, in a safe. TV’s make, model, and serial number. Unless there’s some kind of identifying mark that you’ve put on there, there’s no way we can get it back to you.”
Police are doing what they can to fight the crime. Officers have increased patrols in neighborhoods hit hardest hoping to make contact with someone that could lead to an arrest.
Police also encourage you to get to know your neighbors. Become familiar with cars and people who belong, so you’ll notice when something does not.