BY LINDA BENTLEY | NOVEMBER 14, 2012
MCSO commander’s tips to ward off the ‘bad guys’
Burden says law-abiding citizens need to “think like a criminal” to best protect themselves
CAVE CREEK – Since Jan. 8, 2012, when Deputy Bill Coleman was murdered in Anthem while responding to a burglary, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has busted up nine burglary crews and solved 80-90 burglaries in the northeast Valley.
According to MCSO Capt. Rich Burden (l), a burglary that took place in Carefree resulted in the victim’s car being stolen and over a 24-hour period was used to commit an additional 13 burglaries.
Burden spoke briefly during a recent Cave Creek Town Council meeting to advise citizens what they can do to lessen their chances of becoming victims and provided a handout with some tips as to how to ward off the bad guys.
Burden stated MCSO has become very proactive in its fight against crime in our communities and said the first part of banding together is making it difficult for criminals to steal.
He said there have been burglaries where nothing was stolen because valuables were not left out and/or were secured.
Some tips are common sense: lock up valuable jewelry; bolt safes (the heavier the better) to the floor and walls; don’t leave windows or doors unlocked or open; don’t leave valuables in your car in plain view; keep weapons for protection, but secure them in safes or hidden in places suspects may be least likely to look; and close garage doors even when home, as criminals do canvas neighborhoods looking for valuables such as expensive vehicles, golf clubs, ATVs, etc.
Burden says law-abiding citizens need to “think like a criminal” to best protect themselves and think about why a criminal might pick one house or business to burglarize over another.
Criminals commit burglaries because they want to steal without confrontation and do not want any witnesses.
A common MO is to knock on the door to see if anyone is home. If home, Burden said it is best to answer the door, which will generally send the burglars off to another residence. They might ask for a person’s name that doesn’t live there as an excuse for knocking on the door.
However, he said people should take note of the suspects’ descriptions and what type of vehicle they’re driving and the license plate if possible and call it in to MCSO.
According to Burden, burglars will often utilize stolen, rental or friends' vehicles to commit their crimes.
After a burglary, they’ll generally hock whatever jewelry or valuables obtained at any number of places advertising “We Buy Gold,” and then trade whatever electronics, weapons and other valuables with a drug dealer to get high.
The next day or even later that evening they’ll do it all over again.
The vast majority of criminals involved in burglaries are also involved with illegal drugs.
To remain informed of criminal activity in the community, citizens can log in to
www.cavecreek.org, click the E-Notify button and then customize preferences for notification by e-mail; home, office or cell phone; or via text message.
Burden provided the following as an example of what these notifications might say:
“The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is looking for two men and one woman going to homes asking for directions and particular names of people that don’t live there. They were last seen driving a red Cadillac two-door with a white vinyl roof, bearing personalized Arizona license plate ‘UBEN-HAD.’”
Burden said, “It is better to be safe than sorry” and stated MCSO relies on the community to report any suspicious activity.
Since most burglaries are committed during the day, if between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., anyone with information about any suspicious activities should call it in to the MCSO District Office in Cave Creek at 602-876-1742 or 911. If outside of those hours, citizens can call either 911 or the main office at 602-876-1011.