After a rash of four burglaries in the Alta Vista neighborhood, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino is urging neighborhood residents to use their best judgment and take precautions to avoid being victimized.
Police announced Monday, April 22, that they were investigating the burglaries, all of which took place over the previous 10 days. In one incident, a woman woke up to find two suspects in her bedroom. Reported stolen items include electronics, jewelry and vehicles.
During the Thursday, April 25, Alta Vista Neighborhood Association meeting, DiPino spoke to a room of concerned residents seeking an update on the situation.
“This is very unusual,” she said of the burglaries. “We’re telling everyone to lock their doors and windows in their homes and cars. Criminals are opportunists; so don’t make it easy for them. Keep your valuables out of sight, too.”
DiPino says the burglaries can possibly be attributed to drug addiction. She offered additional tips, including keeping homes well lit and bushes neatly trimmed.
Sgt. Pat Robinson, who also attended the meeting, told attendees that, statistically, they live in one of the safest neighborhoods in Sarasota. He also pointed out that the majority of the burglaries were the result of unlocked doors; only one included a forced entry.
“It’s important to know who your neighbors are,” said DiPino. “They’re the ones who know if someone doesn’t belong outside of your house, and they can call you or the police. It’s part of being a community.”
Chief DiPino’s Crime-Prevention Tips
• Lock doors and windows to vehicles and house.
• Keep valuables out of plain sight.
• Keep home well lit and
bushes trimmed to
eliminate easy hiding spots.
• Become acquainted with neighbors.
• Trust any gut feelings. Police would rather respond to suspicious
activity than be too late.