Community watch programs could have prevented burglaries

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By Alice Du Pont

Quincy Police Chief Ferman Richardson said last week a simple thing like a Neighborhood Crime Watch program could have prevented the recent burglary of two homes and the attempted burglary of another, The crimes, he said, occurred within minutes of each other.

"The homeowner, on his way to work, saw someone who appeared to be trying to break into his neighbor's house but wasn't sure. Instead of calling us, he called an off-duty officer," Richardson said.

The would-be burglar retreated from the neighbor's house but when the homeowner returned, his home has been burglarized. The person had pried the front door open to gain entry and took jewelry and other valuable items. The neighbor’s door had also been pried open in the same way.

On that day, Richardson said, the burglar hit three homes in close proximity. He speculated that a crime watch would have alerted other residents because they would have known the individual seemed out of place.

"We teach people what to look to make themselves and their properties safe. We're not asking them to do our jobs, but we can't be everywhere. Some people say they don't want to call because they don't want to get involved. They don't want to go to court. Sometimes all they have to do is make the call, we'll do the rest," Richardson said.

To form a program or to learn more about it, call Richardson at the Quincy Police Department at 627-7111.