Spike in Urbana home burglaries

Spike in Urbana home burglaries (WCCU)

Over a one month period, Urbana police say they've seen 25 home burglaries in the area. They say 17 of those took place in southeast Urbana, right around Yankee Ridge Elementary.

Now police are asking for neighbors to help since no arrests having been made so far.

Those who live in southeast Urbana say it's a pretty quiet neighborhood.

"Not much goes on other than some people are out walking their dogs and we go and see kids that are getting on the school bus sometimes if we time it right,” Urbana resident Carlton Mills said.

Police say that quietness may be part of the problem. They say over the last month they've seen a spike in burglaries, with most of those break-ins taking place during the day.

"In most of the cases the homeowner will come home and they'll find out their house has been burglarized,” Urbana Police Lt. Richard Surles said. "Recently, we've gotten a couple of reports of people walking through backyards, hopping fences, things like that. And it would be critically important for us to get calls when those things happen so we can go out and investigate those situations."

Homeowners are coming home to kicked in doors or broken windows. The most common things targeted are flat screen televisions, jewelry and gaming systems. In some cases, police say suspects even took car keys and stole vehicles right out of the driveway.

Some ways to protect yourself, make sure your blinds are closed, cut back your bushes so burglars can't hide and install floodlights to come on with motion.

Also, report odd visitors.

"If you have a stranger coming to your house asking for some random person that doesn't live there, you know, my car broke down I want to use the phone, please call the police so we can come out and investigate those things,” Lt. Surles said.

Neighbors say despite the burglaries, they still feel safe.

"If anybody breaks into our house there's nothing worthwhile,” Mills said. “Maybe that will deter them."

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