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Charlotte Area

CMPD division focuses resources to crack down on burglaries

http://66.225.205.104/LM20100303a.mp3

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police on the city's southeast side have been combining tactics to put a stop to home burglaries. Burglaries have always been one of the main problems in the Independence Division. But in December and January, the number of residential burglaries was up by about fifty percent. Most of the break-ins happened during the day. Sergeant Roseann DeTommaso decided to focus on those neighborhoods especially hard-hit. That included ramping up patrols, assigning a truancy officer to certain neighborhoods, setting up traffic safety checkpoints, and having the police helicopter routinely fly over the area. Captain Lisa Goelz says it paid off. In the four weeks before the new initiative there were 26 residential burglaries. In February, there were only twelve. "We were able to arrest and take into custody thirteen suspects for breaking into houses in the Independence Division in the month of February alone," says Goelz. "Those suspects were responsible for at least six break-ins in the response area we're aware of." Gelz says more than three-quarters of those arrests were because residents alerted police to suspicious behavior. Goelz says the division plans to continue using this approach.