Police fight Lowry Hill burglary wave

Since mid-August there has been a string of 19 burglaries in the Lowry Hill neighborhood. The burglaries have been from homes, garages and businesses. Fifth Precinct SAFE Officer Scott Shepard said the items commonly stolen were small, such as jewelry, laptop computers and handheld computers, indicating the burglar might be working alone.

Shepard said the suspect gets in by kicking in doors, cutting window screens or breaking windows. He said approximately 80 to 90 percent of the burglaries have happened during the day.

As a result of the burglary pattern, Shepard and Crime Prevention Specialist Jennifer Nesemeier issued a crime alert for the area and flyered 1,000 homes with information. In addition the pair has been going to neighborhood organizations near Lowry Hill to warn about the potential threat. Shepard said area police patrols have also been increased.

Suspect description

The suspect is reported to be a Hispanic male, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, between 25 and 30 years old. Shepard said the suspect has a pattern of going door-to-door, knocking to see if anyone’s home. If someone answers, he asks for an unfamiliar name and claims to have the wrong house; if no one answers, he goes for the house.

What you can do

Shepard said residents should trust their instincts and call 911 if they see suspicious behavior. He said having an organized block, with a block club and block leader to help get information out, will also reduce crime in the area. Shepard stressed the importance of getting to know your neighbors and their patterns too, making it easier to identify out of the ordinary behavior.

In addition, he and Nesemeier offer residents free home security checks, which evaluate the interior and exterior of homes for ways to increase safety. Residents can also sign up for a service called FiveNet, which sends residents crime alerts and notices via e-mail.

To set up a free home security check, call Police Officer Scott Shepard at 673-2820.

To subscribe to FiveNet, send an e-mail message to [email protected] with your request.