Break-ins on the rise - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Break-ins on the rise

Residents forming Block Watch in Sanders Beach

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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:15 am

COEUR d'ALENE - In one burglary, a Coeur d'Alene resident returned home to be greeted by a stranger coming out her back door. She turned and ran.

In another, the victim was convinced a burglar was inside her home when she arrived with her grandchildren. She locked herself and the kids in a car until the home was searched.

Burglaries are on the rise in the Lake City, and burglars are becoming as brazen as ever, even trying to break in when someone is home.

Victims of one burglary in a Sanders Beach home are fighting back by forming a Block Watch program, and will hold a meeting this week.

It will make a difference, said Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood.

"Neighborhood Watch is a proven deterrent to crime," she said. "When neighbors are organized and aware of who their neighbors are, and who belongs in the neighborhood, they are much more likely to call the police when they see suspicious activity."

Residential burglaries in Coeur d'Alene are rising.

In June 2011, there were 12 burglaries reported. This year, 31 were reported in June. The total for the first six months of 2011 was 107. The first six months of 2012, there were 140 reported burglaries.

Business burglaries are also up. In the first six months of 2011 there were 21 reported. In the first six months of 2012 there were 50 reported.

Police say burglars are paying attention to when residents leave their homes, and when they return. They're watching for signs someone is headed out on vacation.

The Sanders Beach area home of Jack Riggs and Sandy Patano was burglarized June 30. Burglars used a crowbar to force open the back door while the couple was gone boating for just a few hours.

Patano said she wasn't aware there had been several burglaries not far from their home. Once she learned there had been, she was determined to do something to stop them. This week, she and Jack are hosting a Block Watch meeting, where they hope to share information about how to prevent burglaries.

"We hope we're going to create a more tightly knit neighborhood where we watch out for one another, and each other's property," she said Monday.

Patano said she was surprised when their home was burglarized during the day. They have a security system, but it wasn't turned on.

She later distributed fliers to neighbors about the Block Watch meeting. Most were unaware there had been burglaries near their homes.

One homeowner said they usually don't even lock their house when they leave. Those trusting days are over, police say, and residents shouldn't take it for granted their home is safe.

"I don't want to alarm our community, but unless people are aware there's an increased level of burglaries, they're not going to pay attention," she said.

Some recent burglaries include:

* 2100 block of north Seventh. Two firearms, TV, Xbox, and laptop were missing. Police believe suspects pried open a door to gain access to the home.

* 1400 block of north Seventh. A woman returned home from work Thursday afternoon. According to a police report, she noticed a light in the house as she was walking toward the backyard, and assumed she left the TV on. "She then saw a light in a different room of the house. Before she realized what was going on a male stepped out of the back door of her house." The woman ran to a neighbor's residence. She saw the male ride by the neighbor's house, southbound on a bicycle. The victim wasn't certain if anything was missing, but said a bicycle was stolen form the yard a few weeks prior and her mother recently suspected someone may be stealing the groceries.

* 1200 block of east Ash. A house sitter said she was in the master bedroom watching television about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when she heard a "ruckus." She turned the lights on and walked around the house to make sure all the doors were secured. She also checked outside but did not see anyone suspicious in the area. The next day, the bathroom window was found broken and the screen had been moved. The homeowner believes the suspect was scared away when the lights were turned on.

* 5700 block of north Pleasant Way. The victim told police she left the house at 8 a.m. Sunday, and returned around 11:30 with her grandchildren. The resident found the back door, which she locked before leaving, now open. She then noticed the drawers where she kept jewelry were also open, and jewelry was missing. The woman "collected the children and they went outside and locked themselves in her vehicle until her adult son could come and check the residence." She told police she believed the burglar was still in the home when she and her grandchildren returned because she noticed the back gate was closed when she arrived home. When she was sitting in the car waiting for her son to arrive, she noticed the gate was open.

Coeur d'Alene has more than 50 active Block Watch groups with hundreds of neighbors that participate. More would help deter criminals, Wood said.

Sanders Beach residents interested in the Block Watch program can call Wood at 769-2320.

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  • exclamation posted at 2:04 am on Wed, Jul 25, 2012.

    exclamation Posts: 56

    I was always tought two to the head makes em dead.

  • Hammertime posted at 10:29 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Hammertime Posts: 1

    As a retired out of state police chief and an Idaho resident since 2001, I offer the following observations:
    1) The police rarely apprehend burglars. In fact, the police rarely prevent crime.
    2) The CDA police lack adequate training and experience, as does the KCSO.
    3) Idaho needs to legislate a "castle doctrine" or "do not retreat doctrine" like Florida.
    4) Vermont is a "shall carry" state and does not require carry permits (for law abiding citizens). Is Vermont more conservative than Idaho?
    5) Idaho should not ony become a no carry permit required state, but should also encourage lawful open carry.
    6) A tried and true method of stopping these thefts is the quick and fatal dispatch of the offenders, without prejudice. Instruction by destruction is a highly effective learning tool.

  • IdahoMan posted at 12:20 pm on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    IdahoMan Posts: 104

    We've had people just walk through our area and take things: Gas, tires, etc.. Sometimes in broad daylight, and while people were around.

    A good IR/Motion-detection camera system would be a good investment. Catch the dirtbag's faces in action.

    And goes without saying, have a firearm and know how to use it.

  • Ziggy posted at 10:43 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1294

    Like DeNiiles, I am no spring chicken. We have neighborhood watch but unfortunately, this neighborhood has lots of obstructions in front of backdoors, frontdoors, etc. Rather than pay so much a month, I looked into home security systems. There are quite a few out that you can install yourself. Some of these will call your cellphone, the police, the nextdoor neighbor, whomever you want and they can be installed on all doors and windows. Also motion cameras are better than ever. I have two I purchased at local outdoor equipment stores.
    Yes, DeNiles, these burglars think we are all defenseless. Ha, this is Idaho. We all grew up with guns and we know how to use them.

  • the floorist posted at 9:12 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    the floorist Posts: 331

    If you're not home a gun is useless. If your guns aren't locked away in a safe then the guns end up in the hands of the bad guys. Security systems are useless if they're not armed and even then the police have response time that burglars are well aware of. Smash, grab and scram...

  • Jill Heine posted at 9:12 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    Jill Heine Posts: 408

    solid strategies for survival. but what if your new neighbors don't respect neighborhood watch or choose to belong? It's impossible to be safe and secure when you are targeted from next door. Crime will increase until you pull in the welcome mat and fallow deNiles plan: leave no witnesses.

  • I Carry posted at 8:42 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    I Carry Posts: 559

    DeNiles writes like one who has a plan. I agree.

  • mister d posted at 8:20 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Amen DeNiles. i also have weapons in my home that i have no fear of using on an intruder. Anyone entering my home I assume is there to harm me and i will protect myself. If the police are unable to get the situation under control, citizens need to protect themselves in ways they are comfortable. My weapons are secured when I am not at home as I feel this is also for my safety.

  • heatherfeather posted at 8:06 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    heatherfeather Posts: 297

    Bravo DeNiles. Most burglars are Drug Culture zeroes. Taking them out = chlorine in the gene pool!

  • the floorist posted at 7:57 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    the floorist Posts: 331

    $500 for an eight camera video surveillance system is a bargain compared to the damage done to doors and windows, and the misery of losing irreplaceable keepsakes which will be sold for a pittance.

    I was always curious why they were called "patrol cars" and then the name surreptitiously changed to "cruisers". Those marauding burglars might be armed and dangerous yanno. Speeders and drunks are much easier to catch and infinitely safer.

    A picture is worth far more than someone's "word"...take my word for

  • DeNiles posted at 7:41 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Note to prospective burglars: I am an old man and I live alone with 2 dogs. At one time I'd have been more secure in my abilities. With age comes limitations, and fear, of people like you. I lock my doors and take precautions. And I own a force multiplier.

    Keep in mind that I am a light sleeper and my 2 dogs, though small, are quite vigilant. If you come into my home uninvited, I will know in very short order regardless of the time of day. If possible I will call 911 before I prepare to engage in defense. I do not want to harm anyone but I will if I am forced. If you are inside my home, I will be forced. I will assume the worst about you. I have to.

    The equalizer I have chosen is a .45/410 revolver. I hope you understand what this is, and fear it. For those unfamiliar allow me to explain. It is a pistol that fires shotgun shells. The barrel of the pistol is rifled. This means that the shot spread is wide at short distances. Though my eyesight is poor this weapon will compensate for any aiming inaccuracy. If you're where I fire the beast, you're in the kill zone. And understand that I won't fire once and go check on how well I did. I will continue to fire until I am certain you are quite incapacitated. It is not my goal, but, in all likelihood you won't be needing any follow-up medical care.

    I would rather we not meet this way. I hope whatever has you on this pathway can be reversed or contained. You are tapping on cheap glass with a large hammer. It is just a matter of time but what you hit it too hard. I strongly suggest to alter your lifestyle so that your conduct remains within the boundaries of civilized people.

  • SamuelStanding posted at 7:39 am on Tue, Jul 24, 2012.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 619

    Is it really that burglars are "becoming more brazen"? Or just a reaction to the lack of fear about our police department?

    If there is not a fear of being caught, not a fear of what happens when they are caught, then why would crime in our area increase.

    Great that Sanders Beach residents are not going to continue to play victim, its too bad I see our police department is more interested in becoming a Spokane officer and just putting in time.

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