Theft of property high

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 3, 1999

on November crime list


Staff Writer

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The Troy Police Department reported its November property crimes this week and encouraged citizens to work to prevent incidences during the holidays.

Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer with the Troy Police Department, said there were 15 reported incidents of unlawful breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, 55 reported incidents of theft of property, and 20 reported incidents of burglary during November.

"That is more burglaries than usual, and many of these burglaries may have resulted from several mini storage units which were broken into, each one counting as a separate incident," Scarbrough said.

There were four robberies November, and police have arrested a suspect they believe is responsible for three of them, he said.

All of these incidences fall under the category of "property crimes." Scarbrough defined a property crime as a crime in which property is taken from a residence or vehicle. Sometimes property is also damaged, such as a window being broken, while the crime occurs.

Unlawful breaking and entering of a motor vehicle is when the crime occurs in a car. The vehicle does not have to be locked for it to be unlawfully entered. If a person enters it to take something without the owner’s permission, a crime has been committed.

Theft of property occurs when any property is stolen from an individual, such as the taking of a purse from a shopping cart inside a grocery store, Scarbrough said.

Theft is an element of burglary, which is when a theft or a felony is committed after a breaking and entering.

Forgeries are another category of property crime that is on the rise this time of year.

"A check is most often forged, but sometimes credit cards," Scarbrough said. "We encourage businesses that accept these instruments to get proper identification when cashing checks."

Despite it being the start of the holiday season – a time when crime usually increases – the number of property crimes reported is "a little above but close to normal" for this time of year, he said. The number of cases of unlawful breaking and entering a motor vehicle is below average for this time of year in Troy.

Of course, Scarbrough said the number of property crimes may be higher than police reports show because they do not know how many incidences were not reported.

"Sometimes property goes missing, and you think you lost it when it might have actually been stolen," he said. "If you believe you have been a victim of a crime, please report it to police."