On Thursday, we had a lot of police activity in my neighborhood with a flurry of police cars, motorcycles on the side walk, a canine unit and helicopter. This went on for a good 90 minutes from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
The bad guys have been casing out our neighborhood. A lot of vehicles have just been sitting in front of houses or driving slowly up and down the street. People have been knocking on doors asking inane questions, maybe testing to see if anyone is home—and if people didn't open their doors, their front patio furniture got stolen, or worse. This happens every summer, but it seems to be worse this summer.
Yesterday we had two, maybe three burglaries, all in row. One of the suspects (two young males) dropped a backpack that was filled with cameras. Some houses have alley access that can accommodate vehicles, so one car goes down the alley while another sits in front saying the coast is clear. Everyone who has been burglarized said their back door was kicked in. We had a scurry of them two weeks ago too, but the culprit was caught with blood on him from broken glass.
Last year, another neighborhood had a weird scenario where one night, things were moved, like front yard furniture, boulders, and planters. Those people who didn't rearrange them back to their former configuration were burglarized.
I have half a mind to put up a sign in front of my house that says: NO cameras, laptops, Blackberrys, iPods, GameBoys or jewelry on the premises. I have a 15 year old television with bad reception.
Moral of the story: Know your neighbors, their schedules, when they're on vacation. If you see someone suspiciously cruising the neighborhood, write down their license plates, make/model/color, and as much description as possible and call the police.