Every time TurlockCityNews.com posts an article about a local burglary, lots of Turlockers leave comments saying that their house was also burglarized recently.
Burglary is the second-most committed crime in Turlock, based on statistics from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. That FBI program collects data on offenses based on seriousness and frequency of occurrence.
In the 2013 Annual Police Report, the UCR statistics showed there were a total 626 total burglaries in 2013. That’s nearly two per day.
If you add the total number of auto thefts, that total gets bumped up to 1,057. That’s more than one-third of the total crime for the UCR for Turlock for 2013.
“We have seen an increase in the number of reported crimes in Turlock,” said Turlock Police Chief Robert Jackson. “I attribute this to a few things. The first is we have been encouraging our citizens to report crimes to us both by calling for an officer to respond or by using our electronic report filing program we have on our website. … In addition to this push for citizens to report crime, we have seen an increase in the numbers of criminals that have been released from custody due to the prison realignment by the state.”
The Turlock Police Department recommends that Turlockers take steps to protect themselves and their property against burglary. That includes using good outdoor lighting, ensuring locks are safe, and becoming involved in a Neighborhood Watch or Business Watch group.
Jackson also suggested Turlockers continue to report crimes. Even minor crimes should be reported, as they can help the Turlock Police Department to direct resources.
Jackson says that the Turlock Police Department is doing its part too, partnering with the Stanislaus County Probation Office to address the increase in crimes caused by prison realignment.
“We now have a probation officer assigned to our department and he works in the same office are as our investigators,” said Jackson. “One thing that many do not know is the state has pushed the majority of the oversight of former prison inmates to the probations office. Just a few years ago this work was being done at the state level by parole officers.”
The Turlock Police Department has also began to utilize direct patrols to hit hot-spot areas of Turlock, and has shuffled deployment to get more officers on patrol, said Jackson.
However, the Turlock Police Department still remains understaffed, after losing four officers to other law enforcement agencies in the last 14 months.
The Turlock Police Department offers the following burglary safety tips:
- Have good lighting at your home. It can also be a good idea to leave your headlights on until you’ve unlocked the garage or entry door.
- Leave your outside lights on after dark. Good options are dusk-to-dawn timers or motion sensor lights.
- Have your key in-hand so you can open the door immediately.
- If you suspect someone may be in your house, do not enter. Go to a neighbor’s and call the police.
- Change the locks when you move into a new residence.
- Do not rely on chain locks. Chain locks are only for privacy, not security. Always use deadbolts on all entry doors.
- Know who is at your door before you open it. Use a wide angle door viewer, if available. You can see them and they can’t see you.
- Never let anyone into your home without proper identification. Make sure to ask to see identification if you are unsure.
- Never let strangers into your home to make a phone call. You can offer to make a phone call for them while they wait outside.
- Be careful to close the drapes on your home, especially at night.
- If you hear anything suspicious, call the Turlock Police Department at 209-668-1200 for non-emergencies and 911 for emergencies.