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UPDATE: Residential Burglaries Increase in Novato

Updated Thursday, Aug. 22 4:30pm

Residential and commercial burglaries are on the rise, especially in north and west parts of Novato, according to recently released statistics.

Last year, 124 residential burglaries were reported compared to 106 the year before. By comparison, 96 home break-ins were reported in 2009. The same is true for commercial burglaries, with 117 reported last year compared to 109 the previous year. However, that's still lower than the 148 commercial break-ins reported in 2009.

This year, there have been 70 residential burglaries and 60 commercial burglaries, according to police data.

Police say the increase is minor, but want to remind residents to take some basic precautions like locking doors (yes, some people still leave their house unlocked in Novato) when leaving, even for short periods of time.

"It's an uptick, but nothing significant," said Lt. John McCarthy, a spokesman with the department. "This is something we track monthly and use the data to decide how we allocate resources."

Police encourage residents to be vigilant and report suspicious activity. Other tips to avoid becoming a victim of burglary include:

• Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day. 

• Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in. 

• Keep your garage door closed and locked. 

• Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly. 

• Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time. 

• Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary. 

• Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors. 

• Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security. 

• Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store

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Novato Camper August 20, 2013 at 04:13 PM
How about giving the public all of the street names that have had these burglaries. We then can be on the lookout as the thief's usually come back if they know its quiet or looks like everyone is at work
Christine August 20, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Karina Ioffee August 20, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Thanks Christine for the URL. Crimereports.com provides time, date, area of incident, although there is not much detail about the type of crime, beyond theft, identity theft, fraud, etc.
Kit August 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Is there a correlation with the increase of subsidized housing and crime?
Roger August 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Kit, in past years the Council would ask this same crime rate question to the Police Chief, and he would reply that HA has not caused crime to go up in Novato. But he never gave the actual crime trend data to prove his stance. Perhaps Karina can sweet talk the police to give us some actual trend data over the last 15 years when Hamilton has added tons AH.
Karina Ioffee August 21, 2013 at 01:37 PM
I did ask the police dept for percentages from year to year but they said the number of burglaries was so small that the percent changes would not be a true reflection of what was going on. I will ask again for just the number of burglaries, without percentages.
Mark Burnham August 21, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Karina, something sounds fishy. If the police deparment truly said "the number of burglaries was so small" that does not ring true to this reader. Novato has been abuzz for the last 3 years or so about large numbers of burglaries and attempted burlaries in the San Marin, West Novato, Green/Black Point neighborhoods. I am glad you are following up and asking for "the number of burglaries". Perhaps they can also quantify "attempted burglaries" as well?
Dave Robertson August 21, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Might I be so bold to be as rude to ask if the rise in crime correlates at all with the increase in organized burglaries? Yes, it's a politically incorrect question to ask, but someone needs to ask it. The police department can certainly compare convictions with the places these people live. Sorry, but if we keep wanting to build this stuff we have to look at the politically incorrect questions.
Mark Burnham August 21, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Dave what is an "organized burglary"?
Dave Robertson August 21, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Mark: Good point. I have no idea why I typed that word. I guess I am so used to spell and grammar check that I need to actually read what I write! Well, no edit function here, just pretend the word "organized" isn't there. Sorry!
Dave Robertson August 21, 2013 at 04:15 PM
I guess an "organized burglary" is one where nothing else is moved!?
Concerned Citizen August 22, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Interesting point Dave. Is it now so un-PC to ask from where the offenders come from? Are we being too insensitive and possibly entering the racially profiling arena? Or is reality still a time worn consideration in modern society and safety concerns? btw that cuts both ways. Perhaps the answer is simply burglars live here in Novato and there is no organized invasion conspiracy. Facts and information are the best cure for harmful speculation.
Dave Robertson August 22, 2013 at 03:00 PM
CC: I have no idea of the race or color of the people who currently live in AH. I frankly do not care. What I do know is that when crime is on the increase, you look for obvious changes around here that have changed. One of the biggest is AH. AH has been linked to crime increases in crime elsewhere - especially AT the AH. The problem here is that to ask if AH might be a a crime center is so taboo. The police likely have nice computers that could spit that data our in a minute. Instead we go out of our way not to look at what is happening directly. Frankly I think the "race" card is played too much when talking about AH. Social pressure is to force people to look the other way. It's funny, because when I wrote that comment, I didn't have a single thought any potential racial issue. I guess I was supposed to eliminate all that from my thinking, because it MIGHT be construed as racial.
Ventress Dugan August 22, 2013 at 04:25 PM
"Residential Burglaries Increase In Novato, Police Say". So this statement is made and then the police chief says the figures are too small to compare!!!! Which is it, you cannot have it both ways. I would like to see the figures myself and decide for myself.
Concerned Citizen August 22, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Dave you are spot on. I don't think of race as a causal factor. It is however fair territory to ask for simple facts. If it leads to AH housing it tells me the housing isn't so affordable if you have to go out and burglar. That leads to the theory that the entire theory of AH is not reality based if you are looking for a successful way to handle housing for lower income. Perhaps the geniuses in Sacramento have erred yet again in their social engineering project. Just a thought.
Concerned Citizen August 22, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Breaking news: The 8/27 CC meeting has an agenda item to endorse letters to the NMWD and NSD to reduce fees for ancillary (second) units. This is hopefully to help with our AH quota and definitely a step in the right direction. I am first to be critical of some CC decisions and would like to say thank you for doing the right thing here.
Dave Robertson August 23, 2013 at 01:50 AM
CC: race has nothing to do with anything. Crime is an equal opportunity occupation. I have two immediate family members in Section 8 housing. My mother - who would have saved enough money to live in retirement had she worked consistently in her middle age, and my sister - who has barely worked in years. In fact my sister has been gaming the system so long that she was finally awarded disability because she was found emotionally unable to work. Basically, she was so used to getting things for free, that she eventually couldn't live any other way. It is really sad that the system developed in this country to help people, hurts many people as well. I've seen firsthand how people become permanently enslaved by a liberally free life.
Dave Robertson August 23, 2013 at 01:54 AM
And, as is obvious, it is politically correct for me to make these statements because they concern my own family of origin, and the fact that they are not racial minorities. If I mentioned this about someone else's family who happens to be a racial minority, I would be deemed a racist. Do you see the double standard to be politically correct?
Bubbasixpack August 23, 2013 at 09:02 AM
I like Mexican food. Does that make me a racist? If Maurice Chevalier had said "Viva la difference" in Novato today, he'd be labeled a racist for noticing that difference. When we imported residents of Richmond to fill our overbuilt AH, our crime rate went up. Did I say anything about their color? If mama's only crime is having six kid's with six different fathers before she's twenty, and six felons now can move in with mom because she is the section eight voucher holder, ( felons are not allowed in AH) am I racist for noticing that AH is being abused? We crucified Paula Dean for admitting that she had used the N word in the past, but Jesus said " let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Imagine asking a jury that question.
M. Manzano August 23, 2013 at 09:51 AM
I appreciate the article and have seen this problem escalate as a resident here for over 30 years from reports including breaking into automobiles. This will increase with more HUD acceptance, illegal immigrants enabled from landlords and employed by criminal employers, increased low income housing (aka low income housing), and parents who are not home enough to raise their own kids to ensure they don't get in with a bad crowd. Remember, most of the people pushing developments of affordable housing either make money off of it, or don't have to live near it. I'm sure the advocates of PC group-think will flag this post. Have a nice day.
Ruth Rosselli August 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM
I'm wondering about the South Novato crime activity. The police are commonly seen in this area. Residents appreciate seeing them patrol as there has been break-ins in the area.
2MudDucks August 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Getting back to the main subject....my neighbor's home, in the Vineyard Rd. area, was burglarized about a month ago, in the middle of the day. Wish neighbors would take the time to notify surrounding neighbors, like was done in San Marin a couple of years ago. We need to look after each other!
Tina McMillan August 24, 2013 at 04:24 AM
Mud Ducks: Where on Vineyard? Yes, we do need to look out for each other!
Me Ma !! August 24, 2013 at 04:49 AM
“Starting today, AOL is going to shrink its local news network Patch from 900 sites to about 600, letting go 250 to 500 people in the process…” “… an effort to reach profitability in a division that has failed to gain traction with consumers and has suffered huge losses financially…” Given the dwindling number of actual Rohnert Park- and Cotati-related news and information reports since Angela Hart’s departure, is there enough analytic data (reader-interest clicks), local content development and ad buys to persuade AOL not to pull the plug on RP-C Patch? As reported, it seems AOL may have already determined which sites will be discontinued, yet it can do harm to foster a reader/contributor campaign to generate as many clicks and locally-related content as possible. So, if it’s important to you too, tell and contact as many of your friends and colleagues as you can to join such a campaign, ASAP. And, despite my opposing effort, that includes Marilee’s Stop Graton Casino NIMBYs, as well; clicks are clicks, and the casino debate continues to be a click generator. And it might help if Patch staff can repair the broken Shout Stream coding
Me Ma !! August 24, 2013 at 04:59 AM
San Rafael police report surge in residential burglaries The San Rafael Police Department is asking residents to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods amid a spike in residential burglaries. Sgt. Mike Vergara said the city has had 30 to 50 residential burglaries in recent months, with particular concentrations in the Peacock Gap, Woodland Avenue and Dominican areas. The losses have included jewelry, cash and other property. Vergara said police are not sure whether the same few people are responsible or whether more burglars are involved. He said police are trying to intensify patrols, but that residents should lock their doors, aggressively report activity and write down license plate numbers and suspect descriptions. "Usually it's the public's assistance that helps solve these cases," he said. The department can be reached at 485-3000 or www.sprd.org.
Bubbasixpack August 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM
AH doesn't burglarize AH. There's nothing to steal from a crack house. They go into the surrounding community to loot. Check the crime rate at Hamilton Marketplace's parking lot compared to the shopping center in San Marin.
Roger August 25, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Bubba, yes, I would love to see the actual neighborhood crime data numbers. Where are they?
M. Manzano August 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Ask a policeman.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr August 26, 2013 at 10:26 PM
I told you so.


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