BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – With the summer comes ramped up criminal activity and Fort Madison is experiencing that trend right now.
Fort Madison police reported 12 burglaries from Friday through Tuesday and 15 in the past seven days with most occurring in the 1100 to 1500 block of Avenues C through I.
Fort Madison Police Chief Tim Sittig said the burglaries are residential and typically overnight.
“These are residential burglaries where people are going into homes,” he said “They seem to be clustering around the Oak Drive, 29th Place neighborhoods within about a four-block area for the most part.”
He said some of the burglaries are forced entry, but nothing that is causing a lot of damage. He also said two juveniles have been charged with using a credit card that was taken from one of the homes, but he said they haven’t been able to determine if the juveniles were involved in the break-ins.
“These were overnight burglaries and I would probably say, in at least some cases, the residents were home,’ Sittig said.
He advised all residents to make sure their valuable are out of sight and doors, windows and access points to all property are locked securely. He also said leaving porch lights on at night can act as a deterrent. He said residents always have the options of surveillance or dogs for protection as well.
“Criminals like to work in the dark.”
He also encouraged anyone who sees anything, even if it’s just someone walking late at night, to contact the police department.
“Even if you’re just getting up to get something to drink and you see something out the window, even if it’s just someone walking by, give us a call. They may not have done anything to you, but maybe they’ve been somewhere else. It’s very important for us in finding these people to be able to get to them as soon as possible.”
Local neighborhood watch groups Facebook threads this week were tracking burglary activity and information about break-ins and burglaries taking place when people are home.