Wednesday Jan 11 2012
60 home burglaries riddle Rocklin
By: Gloria Beverage and Jon Brines
Clover Valley residents alarmed by brazen Christmas break-in
Rocklin residents are reeling from a spike in brazen home burglaries sweeping the region. “In the last quarter, we’ve seen a 20 percent increase in residential burglaries,” Rocklin Police Chief Ron Lawrence said. “It’s not just in Rocklin, but in Granite Bay, Loomis, Folsom and Citrus Heights.” Rocklin residents have reported 60 residential burglaries from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. In Roseville, there were 138 compared to 107 during the same time frame in the previous year. Granite Bay has had 28 door kick entries. Clover Valley area residents have seen nine in the last two years, including a brazen burglary on Christmas Day where Oakdale Lane neighbors report the suspects fired off guns in the house in an effort to get at valuables. “It was a pretty egregious one,” next door neighbor Karen Huffines said. “The suspects shot at the safe trying to get into it. Maybe it was because it was on Christmas, but the violation just seems worse.” On Tuesday night, Huffines and her husband, Ben, addressed the city council in an effort to draw attention to the residential burglary spree. “For the first time in 22 years we are alarming our house and for the first time locking our cars and putting in motion sensors,” Ben Huffines said. “It is what we have to do.” The area burglaries have a similar pattern of the front door being kicked in or the sliding door window being smashed with a rock. “The ones that are the most concerning to me are the burglaries where the residents are home,” Lawrence said. “They are either home sleeping or in their house. Those are really problematic.” Rocklin’s low crime rate has made residents complacent, Lawrence said. Residents need to stay vigilant and report suspicious activity quickly. “With limited evidence or eyewitnesses, we’re doing the best we can,” Lawrence said. “There’s no indication these are connected (to the same individuals).” Police believe the burglars are watching neighborhoods, looking for residents on vacation, he continued. In response to the spree, Lawrence said he has put traffic officers on patrol in neighborhoods and is working with Roseville and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office to compare lists of stolen property. “We are focusing our full attention on these burglaries,” Lawrence said. What we have done is redeploy a lot of our officers.” Huffines believes the police are doing everything they can and agrees it’s time for his neighbors to get involved and watch each others’ backs. “We’re trying to warn everybody in the neighborhood,” Ben Huffines said. “It’s our job to let them know how bad it is so they can get prepared.” Lawrence wants to remind residents to lock and secure all accessible doors and windows in their residences. It’s also important to remove valuables (including remote garage door openers) from vehicles when parking them on the street. “Please be alert and aware of suspicious people and vehicles in your neighborhood,” said Michael Nottoli, Rocklin Police Community Programs coordinator. “If you observe suspicious activity or an actual crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 or the Rocklin Police Department’s non-emergency line at 625-5400. Anyone who has information about these burglaries or other crimes can make a confidential tip through the Placer County Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-923-8191.