Law enforcement: Property crimes on the rise due to opioid epidemic


NEW BERN, Craven County - Drug addicts looking for cash to support their habits are a big reason why property crimes are on the rise, law enforcement officials said.

Investigators with the Craven County Sheriff's Office say 80 percent of property crimes they deal with tie back to opioids. They said addicts get desperate and steal anything that could possibly get them more drugs. That's why investigators say it's important to make sure your home and other property are locked down.

A good way to test your security is to try to get into your home without your keys. If you can, so can an addict. It's also important to make sure your car is locked.

"A lot of times your people who are addicted to the opioids or the drugs will start out close to home," said Lt. Daniel Garden, an investigator with the Craven County Sheriff's Office. "They'll start out taking money out of a wallet or taking property out of a closet, they're taking stuff out of a vehicle so they can sell it. They are much more comfortable around family members."

This is becoming such a problem that the sheriff's office is holding a workshop on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the sheriff's office (1100 Clarks Road, New Bern) with tips on how to keep your family from falling victim to this trend. They will give you ideas on how you can properly secure your home and what you should do in case of a break-in.

For example, investigators said you should take an hour and walk around your home, snapping photos of the serial numbers of your belongings. That way, if something is stolen, authorities can easily track it back to you should it turn up in a pawn shop.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off