PERU — State Police are investigating burglaries in the area where suspects allegedly enter residences when no one is home and steal everything from electronics to guns.
Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation State Police Investigator Rebecca Finn said the first burglary was reported Oct. 11 on Mannix Road, with another call coming four days later to report items missing from a home on Conners Road.
Finn said the break-in occurred during the day while no one was inside the home.
Two more burglaries were reported Oct. 24 in the Morrisonville/Schuyler Falls area; this time suspects targeted a home on Shingle Street and another residence on Norrisville Road.
“We know that they are targeting electronic items but it’s not been limited to that. There are also tools missing,” she said. “We do have some guns missing also.”
Police believe there is more than one suspect involved and that they may be acting in pairs, with one person knocking on the door pretending they are in need of directions while the other scopes out the location.
If no one is home, the house becomes a target for a possible break-in.
Investigators have been in the area conducting interviews and looking for leads, but they are asking for the public’s help in reporting any suspicious activity.
Justin Stearns, owner of Mac’s Safe & Lock in Plattsburgh, said there are steps everyone can take to ensure their home and valuables are locked away, safe from theft.
“The most important thing is the guns. Absolutely get a gun safe that is bolted to the ground,” he said. “This time of year we sell a lot of gun safes and I have yet to hear of someone that regrets it.”
He also recommends the safe is kept out of plain sight, like in a closet or basement.
Security motion lights are also helpful at deterring possible burglars looking for a home empty of people but full of valuables.
Stearns said in the type of cases where no one is home when the burglary occurs, it is best to try and make it appear someone is always around.
“I always suggest making the house look as alive as possible,” he said.
He also suggests leaving a couple of lights on to deter intruders; especially LED bulbs that are safer and consume less electricity.
Have a neighbor keep an eye on your home when leaving town for any amount of time.
“If you are going to be gone for a couple days make sure no papers or mail are left on the front porch, this will show obvious signs that the house is not occupied and can make for an easy target,” Stearns said.
Most importantly, he tells his customers “Lock your doors!”
“While the house is occupied leave a key on the inside of the lock in case of a fire, but when you leave the house remove all the keys and make sure every door and window is locked,” he added. “If someone breaks in this will make it difficult for them to get out.”
Having an alarm system is ideal, but installation can be pricey.
Stearns said there are stickers available that say a house is alarmed and he sells fake cameras that look real and are attached to the home’s exterior to ward off potential thieves.
“Call your local locksmith or police station to see if they would be available to do a security check on your house,” he advises.
Any suspicious activity or persons should be reported to Plattsburgh-based State Police at 563-3761.
Email Miranda Orso: firstname.lastname@example.org