Police: Rise in Tualatin burglaries hopefully prompts citizen vigilance

TUALATIN, Ore. -- A slight uptick in residential burglaries in the past six months has the Tualatin Police Department taking notice.

Now department officials are hoping the public will take notice, as well.

According to Jennifer Massey, the public information officer for the Tualatin Police Department, burglaries have been on the rise in the neighborhood areas of Northwest Tualatin (right off Tualatin Road) since September of 2011.

"I don't really have specific numbers, but we've just seen a trend lately," she said. "It's not even a significant trend, but it was enough where we said, 'OK. Let's put (a press release) out so that we can kind of remind people that we need to be vigilant about this and we need to work together and be more proactive.'"

Some of the items taken include laptops, antique firearms and tobacco. Some RVs have also been burglarized.

"It doesn't have to be a large item to be an expensive item," Massey said. "Anything that can roll or that is easily portable is kind of an easy target."

These rising numbers are concerning to police and now they're asking for the public’s vigilance and for neighbors to work together in reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. Tualatin police will focus on extra patrols throughout the city and increasing public awareness on ways to avoid being a victim. In the meantime, Massey said it's important for homeowners to take a little extra time to make sure they have working window and door locks, adequate lighting, making sure there isn't overgrown trees or bushes near doorways, entryways and patios. Massey also pointed out communicating with neighbors is a key element in keeping property crimes and thefts down.

"Exchange contact information with them so that if your neighbors see something suspicious, they can call you and say, 'Hey, were you expecting a moving truck to be in your driveway today?' or something like that," Massey said. "It's just kind of a subtle reminder that we need to work together on this and be more proactive, as opposed to reactive."

Police also hope homeowners will be aware of anyone suspicious in the area, any unusual noises or dogs barking out of the ordinary. These are all clues that something might be out of the ordinary. Police said to call 911 if you suspect a crime is happening or about to happen.