"Just wanted to let you know that we have had 5 units broken into this week alone. I caught the kid in the act this morning at 8am. It appears that he had been squatting in one of the vacant units (first unit entered). ... Today at 8am (fourth unit entered) I heard some excessive in the unit above me. Knowing that the unit owner usually up and gone by 6am, I went to look to see what was going on. Sure enough, there was a guy inside the unit trying to rehang the curtains that he had knocked down when he entered the unit through the window.
I stepped away to call the unit owner to see if he might have someone doing some work on his unit, then the guy came out approached me and said “I was just trying to hang the curtain that fell down.” Next thing I know we had an exchange of words, I trying to grab him to restrain him and then he went into another unit that was vacant and grabbed his backpack and jetted out the front door down the common hallway and out the front of the building.
Touring the building with the police we found another unit with the door ajar. The police knocked and entered but did not find anyone. It also appears that the window had been pried open (fifth unit entered).
African American male, mid-twenties, 5’11”, 160lbs, wearing black jeans/pants, oversized white shirt with black thin vertical and horizontal lines, red backpack."
Another tenant tells us that the burglar was coming in through unlocked or open windows.
So, a couple words of advice here:
- Lock your windows and doors, even if you are only going to be gone for a few minutes. Crimes are usually committed because the opportunity presents itself; don't make your home a target.
- If you have vacant units in your building, keep an eye on them for activity. Some neighbors of mine heard footsteps in the supposedly empty unit above them. They called the cops and found out a meth lab had been set up in the apartment
- It's a cliche, but get to know your neighbors so you'll know if something is going on when they're not home.
- Keep an eye open for the person described above and call 911 if you see him.