PIQUA — The Piqua Police Department reported a small spike in daytime burlgaries two weeks ago, but it was not enough to prove to be a crime trend.
“They’re not unusual increases,” Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said. “The most recent spike, it was short-lived.” Jamison added these types of increases probably happen a few times a year.
However, concern about burglaries appeared to take on a viral nature as many people become worried about the possibility of that happening to their home or neighborhood.
“Sometimes we can’t close a case on a burglary, but we have a pretty good idea of who has done it,” Jamison said. “(We) increase our investigative strategies (and) sometimes get an arrest on something that is related to slow down the burglaries.”
Jamison commented that it appears that is currently what is happening with the reports of burglaries slowing down, but it is still too soon to tell.
“Sometimes it’s kind of location-based,” Jamison said.
For example, Jamison stated that whenever there is a place operating where people can come and go at will, participate in a criminal act, such as drug use or selling “hot” or stolen property, “then we also see an increase in theft-related crimes.”
When theft-related crimes begin to increase, the Piqua police will “go figure out where these things are being fenced,” Jamison said.
Jamison stated that he could not say for sure that those types of dealings were occurring at the former Flesh Library at 124 W. Greene St.
“We know we have seen a reduction in theft-related crime rates since Nov. 5,” Jamison said, which was when officers executed a high-risk warrant at the old library. That building has since been condemned.
When searching for prevention tips on how to protect one’s home against a possible burglary, Jamison is encouraging people to look at credible sources. However, people should be wary of sharing too much about what they are doing in their own homes to protect themselves.
“Try to avoid saying everything that you’re doing at your house,” Jamison said. “Not everybody on the internet needs to know that.”
The public is also encouraged to sign up for Nextdoor.com, a social media site where people are able to only talk to their neighbors and receive alerts from the Piqua Police Department.
“We’d really like for them to sign up for Nextdoor, which is a social media platform that allows people to have those relationships that are hard to build,” Jamison said.
Through Nextdoor.com, residents are able to communicate with those around them about anything suspicious they may have seen occuring.
With people coming and going often and with so many working people, people may not find time to get out and socialize with the neighbors when they get home. Jamison said that Nextdoor.com was a way to “establish some relationships or have some digital conversation with people.”
“We really kicked this off at National Night Out back in August,” Jamison said. “And we would like to see people turn their neighborhoods into Nextdoor neighbors.”
People are also encouraged to connect with their neighborhoods by connecting with their local neighborhood associations.
“They can also identify smaller areas, maybe just their block,” Jamison said. That way, people can create their own Nextdoor watch and their neighbors can talk to each other about who’s coming and going in that area.
The Piqua Police Department will also not be able to read what is posted on Nextdoor.com unless an officer happens to live in that area.
According to Jamison, if enough people in one neighborhood get involved in Nextdoor.com, the Piqua Police Department is considering giving out signs for people to put up in their neighborbood.
“We really want to see people engage their neighbors and show us they have a sustainable group,” Jamison said. “Then through Protect Piqua, we can get them some yard signs.”
Those signs will let others know that the neighborhood takes part in Nextdoor.com almost like a virtual Neighborhood Watch program. They can demonstrate “we’re a bunch of neighbors who watch out for each other,” Jamison said.
More information can be found at protectpiqua.blogspot.com.
“We’d like to encourage people to get with neighbors that are just never going to get online,” Jamison said. “If somebody has a neighbor who’s never going to get on Nextdoor, identify that person and be willing to share what they read with that person.”
Those people who do not want to get online can also sign up for the Miami County Emergency Notification System.
“That’s another way they might help a neighbor,” Jamison said. “Maybe they don’t have a computer, but they have a landline telephone. Somebody could help them set that up to get these emergency notifications.”
More information about the Miami County Emergency Notification System can be found at miamicounty911.com.
According to the Piqua police reports, some of the more recent burglaries that were reported between Nov. 2 and Nov. 17 include:
• A report of a home burglary on the 1200 block of Camaro Court on Nov. 16 at 4:40 p.m. The residence was broken in sometime during the day, and items were reportedly taken.
• A report of a home burglary on the 500 block of Riverside Drive that occurred between 11 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Nov. 13.
• A report of a home burglary on the 400 block of Riverside Drive that occurred between 7:45 a.m. and 5:20 p.m. on Nov. 13. The resident reported that the home was entered and the drawers had been gone through by an unknown suspect.
• A report of a church break-in at Upper Valley Community Church that occurred between 10 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 7:40 a.m. on Nov. 10.
• A report of a burglary on the 400 block of Miami Street between 9 p.m. on Nov. 8 and 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 9. A residence was entered and a 29-inch Vizio television was reportedly taken.
• A report of a possible burglary on the 800 block of W. Greene Street on Nov. 7 at 2 a.m. There were no items reported stolen. The resident believed someone entered through an open door in the basement, according to police reports.
• A report of a home burglary on the 400 block of New Street on Nov. 7 at 11:30 a.m. Several items were reported stolen.
• A report of a home burglary on the 1100 block of Leonard Street on Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. Cash and jewelry were taken.
• A report of a burglary on the 200 block of S. Roosevelt Avenue on Nov. 6 at 3:19 p.m. Several items were taken from the residence.
• A report of a home break-in on the 600 block of S. Wayne Street sometime between 8 a.m. and 3:13 p.m. on Nov. 4.
• A report of another possible home break-in on the 600 block of S. Wayne Street sometime on Nov. 4.
• A report of a burglary on the 900 block of Park Avenue on Nov. 3, occurring between 8:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. The glass on the back door of a residence was broken and several items were reported stolen.
• A report of a burglary in progress on the 900 block of Madison Avenue on Nov. 3 at 8 a.m. The alleged suspect did not gain entry to the residence.
• A report of a burglary on the 1000 block of W. North Street on Nov. 3 at 7:40 a.m. The glass on a back sliding door to a residence was reportedly broken.
• A report of a home break-in on the 500 block of S. Downing Street on Nov. 2 at 3:30 p.m.
The Piqua Police Department can be contacted at (937) 778-2027. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 937-615-TIPS (8477) or by visiting www.piquaoh.org/police_submitatip.htm for more information.
To submit an anonymous tip through text messaging, type the keyword PIQUAPD and the message, then send it to 274637.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall