Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recent Burglaries & A Residential Alarm Recommendation

Over the past few weeks there have been a series of eight burglaries to single family homes across the City. During our investigation of these crimes officers recovered evidence that indicated the same individual(s) were responsible for multiple break-ins. That evidence, along with suspect descriptions provided by witnesses and extensive surveillance by MRPD and PGPD SAT officers, resulted in the arrest of three juveniles and one adult. Those arrests closed four of the eight burglaries, and investigators believe the adult may be responsible for up to two more. We continue to investigate the remaining cases in cooperation with detectives from PGPD District I and the Hyattsville City Police Department.

In four of these recent burglaries the residence had a working alarm at the time of the break-in. The alarms worked as intended, however the bad guys managed to escape just minutes before MRPD officers arrived. This was due to the fact that the alarm monitoring company, upon receiving the alarm, called the homeowner first, before calling the police. Those few minutes delay made the difference between the police apprehending the suspects and their getting away. In fact, one of the juveniles we arrested told investigators that he knew, that even with the alarm, he had at least ten minutes to complete the crime and make good his escape before officers arrived.

The police department recommends that homeowners who have installed and registered alarms call their alarm monitoring company and request that Mount Rainier Police Department Communications be notified immediately (301-985-6565/6566) when their residential alarm is activated. Many alarm companies hesitate to do this because they want to reduce the number of false alarms, especially where false alarms may result in fines to the homeowner. This is especially true with newly installed systems. However, if you are comfortable operating your system, a first notification to the police will get us there quicker in the event that a real burglary is in progress.

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