Arrests made in string of break-ins
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Jan 27, 2014, 12:01
HOPEWELL — With the start of the new year, Hopewell saw a spike in the number of burglaries.
From the start of the year, there have been a total of 12 burglaries, 11 residential and one commercial. It is a problem the Hopewell Police Department is working to correct, with arrests already being made and investigations ongoing.
From the week of Jan. 13 to Jan. 19, there were a total of eight residential burglaries, with three being reported at the start of year, from Dec. 30, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014. Deputy Chief, Robert Skowron, said this is an increase in four burglaries from the same time last year.
“Several involved either a front or rear door being kicked in,” Skowron said of the burglaries. “There has some type of force to a door, some had force to a window. A few were just an unlocked window.”
The burglaries, when plotted on a map, all appear to be within a mile or two from one another. Skowron said the department believes most of the burglaries are related, in which the offenders travel from neighborhood to neighborhood in the city, possibly on foot. He also said many of the burglaries are occurring in the daytime hours.
The burglaries are located in two main clusters, Skowron said, with one being in the Liberty and Stewart Avenue area and the other in the Kippax area of the city. With the two clusters, Skowron said there appears to be different groups involved in the reported incidents.
The department has already made several arrests involving many of the reported burglaries. Four juveniles have been arrested involving a burglary on Western Street, and Skowron said all four have been charged. Two juveniles were also arrested and charged with burglary and grand larceny in connection with a burglary on Sunnyside Avenue.
Two adults have also been arrested in connection with burglaries in the city: Odarrius McNair, 18, and Raquan Stith, 21, who have both been charged with receiving stolen property. Skowron said as the investigations into the burglaries continue, he expects more charges will be coming.
With the arrests of the juveniles and the adults, the department has recovered almost $1,700 in stolen property. Many of the burglaries from the week of Jan. 13 to Jan. 19 involved stolen game consoles, laptops, DVDs, cash, jewelry, clothing and in one case, a safe, which was later recovered. Guns have also been reported as stolen from one of the robberies.
“We anticipate seeing the burglary numbers really taper off,” Skowron sad.
Skowron continued and said part of the issue that is occurring with the burglaries in the city is that many of the arrests involve repeat juvenile offenders.
While there has been no definitive answer as to why the burglaries have increased from the same time last year, Skowron said the department generally sees an increase in larcenies and sometimes burglaries when children are out of school for longer periods of time.
Though the department is continuing investigations into the other burglaries in the city, Skowron said there are things residents can do to help prevent from being the victim of a crime.
“Please keep your cars locked and valuables out of sight,” Skowron said. “Keep your homes locked up, be involved in neighborhood watch. Look out for your neighbors.”