Janesville56.1°

Bold, stealthy burglars strike Janesville area

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Ted Sullivan
August 6, 2010
— The burglars were brash, catlike and walked away with $5,500 in goods while the home’s residents were asleep.

The burglars—or burglar—used a wheeled dolly or cart to loot a 42-inch TV, Xbox 360, hunting bow and other electronics from the Canvasback Drive home.


They entered several rooms. Everyone was home, including dogs. And no one heard a peep.


“When people are home—to go into that many different rooms in the house—is a little unusual, and a little bit bold,” Janesville Police Detective Steve Williams said. “They must have been quiet.”


Williams stopped short of calling it a trend, but Thursday’s burglary was one of several similar crimes reported this summer.


Three burglaries or burglary attempts were reported in July in the neighborhood surrounding Cherokee Road in east Janesville. Burglars cut screens or kicked in doors while people were asleep.


Days later, police arrested a man on a charge of criminal trespass to a home after he was on the roof of a house along Cherokee Road. A teen living in the home awoke and chased the suspect away.


Police continue investigating the burglaries, Williams said, and they don’t think they’re all related.


Residents of two homes involved in the crimes either declined to comment to the Gazette or didn’t return phone messages.


In the July 29 burglary, the thieves could have made noise without alarming anyone, Williams said. The residents include kids, who might move around the house at night.


The burglars also targeted a neighboring house, he said. Nothing was stolen, but wheel tracks were found in the yard and a patio door was left open.


“I’m not sure if anyone was in their house looking around or not,” Williams said. “The homeowner didn’t see anything out of place.”


Burglaries are much more common when residents are gone, he said.


“A burglar doesn’t want to create any attention, or he’ll get caught,” Williams said.


HOME SECURITY

The Janesville Police Department offered the following tips to protect your home:


-- Secure all entry doors with deadbolt locks and lock your home at night or when you are gone.


-- Remove temptation by keeping valuables, such as purses or wallets, away from windows and doors.


-- Install exterior lighting near porches, doorways, garage doors and all other points of entry. Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places and deter burglars.


-- Your landscaping should provide maximum visibility to and from your home. Trim shrubbery that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows.


-- Close your overhead garage door. Police are contacted every year by homeowners who have had bikes, tools or other items stolen from their garage while the door was open.


-- Be aware of any suspicious activity around your neighborhood in the early morning hours. Call police to report suspicious activity right away.



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