By Terry Rogers
Delaware State Police are investigating several break-ins and attempted break-ins in the Woodshaven neighborhood, located in northern Milford. The home of Belinda and Jim Bahder on New Wharf Road were the site of an attempted break-in on May 5, while Dan Sammons had an aluminum trailer stolen from his property on May 25. No suspects have been identified at this time.
According to Mrs. Bahder, her 19-year old daughter was home alone on Sunday, May 5, when she heard a boom or a bang on the deck and the family dog began barking. Police found that a screen in the family room had been cut, and were able to lift a partial print from the window.
“We have lived here 25 years and never had anything like this happen,” Mrs. Bahder said. “The police told us that the burglar probably thought no one was home, and told us that it was good that we were very careful about locking doors and windows. We are not suspicious people, but we just want to make sure our home is secure.” Mrs. Bahder also said that she knew of several other burglaries in the area where electronics and jewelry were taken, but she believed three suspects were arrested in those crimes.
“I think they had cased my home earlier,” said Mr. Sammons, whose aluminum trailer was stolen between dusk and dawn on May 25. “I had a tongue lock on the ball hitch. I was at home when it happened.”
According to Lieutenant Kenneth Brown of the Milford Police Department, burglary statistics are close to the same as the previous year, and they are even showing a slight decrease.
“The burglaries we have been experiencing right now seem to be where suspects are going into houses for the purposes of stealing copper pipe,” Lt. Brown explained. However, Detective George L. Camacho of the Delaware State Police, who is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Crime, says that they are seeing an increase in home break-ins.
“Although I don’t have the numbers at this point, we have seen an increase,” Detective Camacho said. “It could be due to the seasonal home owners returning for the summer who have found that the home was burglarized.”
Both Lt. Brown and Detective Camacho say there are things that homeowners can do to help make their home less attractive to burglars beyond simply locking doors and windows. One suggestion is to install burglar alarms in your home.
“Even the sign from the alarm system outside the home is sometimes enough to deter a burglar,” said Lt. Brown. He also suggested installing cameras and motion-activated lights outside your home. Record serial numbers of electronics and other valuable items and take pictures should you become the victim of a burglary.
Another suggestion from police is to improve visibility at doors and windows by not planting large bushes or trees that obstruct the view of the home. Keep your garage door closed when you are inside the home to keep thieves from gaining easy access. Always keep guns and jewelry locked in a safe or cabinet.
When on vacation, keep your home looking like someone is there by setting timers attached to lights to come on and go off periodically. The City of Milford offer Police House Watch where residents can come to the police department prior to leaving and complete a form for the free service. The Volunteer Patrol and police officers periodically check the home until the residents return. Anyone who has any information about the crimes can contact the Delaware State Police or Milford Police Department.