Chief urges residents to lock doors, windows following rash of thefts
By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Police are stepping up patrols in residential areas of the town as they try to solve a wave of burglaries and walk-in thefts that began in mid-December.
Chief Richard H. Furr estimated about 20 residential thefts have been reported, primarily from Main Street to the town limit. Small amounts of cash have been the only items stolen in most cases.
In a news release issued Wednesday, Furr encouraged residents to lock their doors and windows and call police when they see "something that just doesn't look right."
"We are also enlisting the help of our Neighborhood Watch groups throughout town to report any suspicious behavior they may see," Furr said.
He also cited alarm systems and outdoor lighting as useful deterrents and urged anyone leaving town to ask neighbors to check their property.
In an interview Wednesday, Furr said some victims have reported minor damage around doors and windows as a result of someone breaking and entering. Other thefts were committed by someone simply opening an unlocked door, he said. The majority of the crimes have taken place in single-family homes, Furr said.
The thefts have happened at all hours of the day, Furr said.
No suspects have been identified, he said.
"We're still analyzing all the data," he said. "What's going to break this case is people looking for anything suspicious and giving us a call."
"Our criminal investigations division is utilizing all available resources in investigating these crimes, but our best offense right now is a good defense," he said.
Anyone with information about the thefts may call police investigators at 635-2111.