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Town experiences uptick in daytime break-ins

Date: 8/1/2012

By Debbie Gardner

AGAWAM — Keep your doors and windows locked and keep an eye on your neighborhood. That was the advice of Lt. Richard Light of the Agawam Police Department's Detective Bureau in the wake of a recent rash of break-ins.

Light said the department has received reports of several daytime break-ins occurring in most cases while residents are at work stretching from the Feeding Hills to the River Road sections of town.

Light said this uptick was not a seasonal bump in burglaries.

"This is unusual," he told Reminder Publications. "This is unusual for any time of year, to have a rash of break-ins like this."

According to Light, in all instances the perpetrators entered the homes from the rear, either through a door or window which was often unsecured and in most cases made their way to the master bedroom where they took jewelry, money and small electronics such as I Pads and laptops.

"What they appear to be taking is small items, nothing like a 50-inch TV," Light said. "They're taking something that is easily carried."

Light said he has two detectives working the case. The state police crime scene unit has also assisted with two cases, providing crime scene photography and fingerprinting services.

Light said residents need to make sure they are keeping their homes secure to help prevent themselves from becoming a victim in this recent outbreak of break-ins.

"People need to make sure their doors are locked, make sure their windows are locked, and secure their bulkheads and hatchways," he said. "I also put out a Connect-CTY message out [last week] asking residents that if they see something suspicious in their neighborhood — a car or person they don't know — to notify the police immediately."

Light said to report suspicious activity, residents should call the Police Department at 786-4767. To report information that might aid in solving a break-in, residents should call the Detective Bureau directly at 786-1717.

Agawam has not been alone in experiencing increased break-ins this summer.

Lt. David Ricardi of the Southwick Police Department said his town apprehended two individuals last week, following a handful of similar break-ins. He said his town had also dealt with an uptick in car break-ins this summer. In most cases, the vehicles targeted were unlocked, he added.

Westfield has also experienced an increase in car break-ins this summer, with a total of 50 cars targeted since June 1.