The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 8, 2013

Warm weather can bring out criminals, says local watch leader

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

DANVILLE — As the temperature rises, so does the potential for break-ins.

“We’ve had a long, cold winter. A lot of people that would tend to steal have been laying low,” said Dave Pebley, volunteer coordinator for Danville’s Neighborhood Watch Group. “Now that the weather is breaking, that’s going to pick up.”

Pebley recommended residents do a home safety check to make sure all access points are secure. “Check your doors, make sure you have deadbolts, check your locking windows, check your shrubbery, make sure it is cutaway from windows so it doesn’t give somebody an easy way of getting through a window,” he said.

He also suggested residents pick up a neighborhood watch decal from locations such as the Danville Police Department, Danville borough building and courthouse. “It is a great deterrent,” said Pebley.

“Do a home inventory, either by writing things down or taking a video of them. The best thing to do is to mark your valuables,” with etchings where possible, said Pebley.

“Most importantly, if you see something, say something,” he said.

Anything out of the ordinary, such as someone wearing a long jacket on a warm day or somebody watching the house of an away neighbor, could be cause for concern, said Pebley. “Don’t hesitate to call, don’t feel like you are nosing in on somebody’s personal business, that’s not the intent of a watch program. The intent is to report things that look out of the ordinary.”

According to records from the Danville Police Department, so far there have been three burglaries this year in the borough. There were 10 in 2012, 17 in 2011 and 15 in 2010.

An online form is available at the Danville Police Department’s website where residents can request officers to look out for their house while they’re away, said Pebley.

The Neighborhood Watch Group meets the third Monday of every month. Their next meeting is April 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at the Danville Borough building. Residents in neighboring communities, such as Riverside, Mahoning Township and Liberty Township, are also invited to attend, said Pebley. “We invite anyone from the area to participate, it’s not just a Danville borough thing.”

 

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.