October 3, 2013

"Unfortunately, the world we live in requires us to take steps which will likely provide additional protection from those who may decide to take advantage of us. Preventing theft is sometimes as easy as locking things up and making sure that they are out of view." -Public Information Officer Mat Droge #88.

Manhattan and Riley County are considered safe places to reside. Steadily the crime rate has decreased over the past few years and with the implementation of hot spot and predictive policing methods (Initiative: Laser Point), Riley County Police continue to see positive effects on crime. Currently the jurisdiction of RCPD has shown a decrease in overall crime with the exception of vehicle burglaries. This slight rise in vehicle burglaries is attributed to a rash of these crimes within the past month. To stay on track police need your help, since the number of community members greatly outnumber those police officers who have sworn to serve Manhattan and Riley County.

At last check approximately 80% of vehicle burglaries in Manhattan and Riley County involved a victim's vehicle which was unsecured in some way. Unlocked doors, open windows, and open top vehicles are enticing to would be burglars since it helps to select targets and quickly perpetrate the crime. The police department often reminds community members to lock and secure their vehicles and bikes but would like to take that a step further with upcoming pleasant weather.

Unfortunately burglaries to residences occur in Manhattan and Riley County on occasion. Since April 2013 the Riley County Police Department has responded to an average of just over 20 of these property crimes per month (burglary, can be defined in state statute). A number of these crimes involve buildings, houses, vehicles or apartments with unlocked doors and/or windows. Some of these crimes have even occurred while the residence is occupied by its renters or owners. These crimes range in value of approximate loss from a few dollars to thousands. With nice weather and the ability to shut off air conditioning and open up the windows, homes in the area become more appealing to criminals looking to steal items for personal gain. Officers with the Riley County Police Department would like to remind the area to be cognizant of this fact especially as students prepare to leave for holiday breaks in the coming months.

It is best practice to keep valuables out of sight and secured or even with you. When leaving the house, even for a short period of time, lock doors and windows to make it less likely that you will become a victim of crime. When occupying your residence, be aware of the potential for burglary and take steps to protect yourself from this incredibly inconvenient crime. Securing windows accessible from the outside is just one way to better protect yourself. As always, it is important to report suspicious behavior or subjects to police. Though these suspicions may be found to ultimately be harmless, it is still important to inform police and give them the opportunity to investigate and potentially prevent a crime.

In the unfortunate event that you have become a victim of burglary or theft, reporting these crimes immediately and without entering the crime scene is both preferable for police investigations and also your safety. When contacting police start thinking of things that may be missing and when possible collect serial numbers and other pieces of information that could help to recover the property. This will help officers determine an amount of loss as well as begin their investigation into the crime and through the hard work of patrol officers and detectives hopefully RCPD or surrounding law enforcement agencies can come to a successful conclusion to the case.

For an easy way to track your valuable property and to better assist law enforcement in the event of a crime, community members have used a service called "ReportIt." This service is a way for the general public to keep a secure, online record of valuable property, accessible from anywhere and it is all for free. For more information on this service visit their website.

"ReportIt," a service by Leads Online, the Nation's largest online investigation system, has been used by Property Crime Detectives R. Deutsch and B. Jager to solve many burglary and theft cases over the past year. "It's really a great tool for the public as well as law enforcement. If we could get the vast majority of the public to use it, it would be even more powerful." -Detective B. Jager.

If you have information about a burglary or theft in your area, contact RCPD by phone or the Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers. For Crime Stoppers you do not have to leave your name, collect calls are accepted and you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. For more information on crime in your area, visit the "Crime Map" section of RileyCountyPolice.og.