Police combat rise in burglaries - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Police combat rise in burglaries

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Montgomery city officials report overall crime declined in January in Montgomery, with one exception: burglaries.   Statistics from the police department show burglaries spiked 21% last month over the same time last year, from 227 in 2011 to 275 in 2012.

And now police are deploying resources to neighborhoods hit hardest by the problem.

"We're continuing to use data to see where we are, and be honest about it," said Chris Murphy, Director of Public Safety.  "Even we have an uptick like we have had in burglaries, and not be satisfied, that's going to ebb and flow and just leave it at that. 

City officials say neighborhoods such as Old Cloverdale, McGehee Estates and Vaughn Meadows are seeing a spike in burglaries.  

"Everything from breaking into the houses and stealing jewelry, electronics is always a big item to lawn equipment in storage rooms," said one woman, who did not want to be identified. 

Those who have been victims of burglary in the past saw the effects can linger. 

"There were practical problems and it affected my state of mind for awhile," said Rhodes Peele, a past burglary victim.  "That's been about 4 or 5 years ago, but I really feel for any crime victim."

The Police Department says it's deploying extra patrols, including officers on bicycles and plainclothes officers to help combat burglaries. 

"Riding the streets, quieter and in a more stealth mode," Murphy said.  "Even behind the houses where you have these culverts and areas where we believe the bad guys are, we're trying to be where they are, so we come up on that."

Police said sharing information about burglaries with neighbors and reporting those crimes could also go a long way toward solving the problem.   Overall, burglaries in 2011 were down after a spike in 2010.

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