Residential crime doesn't have to happen to you


NEW BERN, Craven County - According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every 4.8 seconds a home is victimized by theft in the U.S.

Officers say most of the residential crimes in our area could have been prevented. It's as simple as locking your doors and keeping a watchful eye, because just about anyone can become a victim of a breaking and entering.

"In almost any breaking and entering, one of the biggest issues we have is not locking up," said Det. Josh Jensen with the New Bern Police Department. "As of Sept. 30, we had 121 residential B & Es (in New Bern)."

Of those breaking and enterings, 62 happened between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the time when many people are typically at work. Two months ago, Lena Richardson and her husband became a crime statistic.

"He (her husband) said 'somebody broke into the garage," Lena Richardson said. "I asked him what did they take and he told me what they took."

A chain sw, hand tools and a generator, about $1,000 in property taken. It's a hard lesson for the Richardsons to learn but one they hope they won't have to relive.

"Lock everything," she said. "Lock the front, the back, these gates ... they're both locked and the garage is locked."

Locking up your valuables is important but it doesn't stop there. If you go on vacation, police will make a routine stop to check your home to make sure everything is still there when you return.

"Community watch programs and having your neighbors keeping an eye on things is a great resource but also you can contact the police department and set up a vacation watch," Jensen said. "What they'll do is if you tell them the time you're leaving and when you'll be back, they'll set up random patrols and have officers come by and actually check your property for you while you're gone."

As far as crime statistics go, if you want to know more about the area you live in or are thinking about moving to a new neighborhood, here's a free resource available to you. LexisNexis Community Crime Map. You can type it into Google and a map pops up. Enter the address, then you can see what crimes were committed and when they took place."

Police said areas that are out of sight are most vulnerable to criminals. Many breaking and enterings take place at ground level entrances such as windows and doors in the back of the home.

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