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Surge in burglaries leads to extra patrols

Aug 25, 2022

By: Katherine Trowbridge

A surge in burglaries within the City of Connell has led to extra police patrols. These burglaries, unlike the typical car prowls we see, are more invasive as suspects actually enter homes and other structures on people’s property.

In a press release sent to the Franklin County Graphic (FCG) by the Connell Police Department (CPD) stated, “Over the course of the last several weeks our community has been struck by several burglaries. The Connell Police Department, like our citizens, is greatly concerned with the number of burglaries in our area.” It went on to state that nightly patrols were increased in order to minimize damage and theft within our community.

“In addition, our officers are working diligently to investigate these occurrences and will provide the public with updates as they become available,” CPD said.

Some suggestions to help assist in keeping the community safe were also shared:

- If you see something unusual or suspicious report it to the police department right away.

- Be a good neighbor and keep your eyes and ears open for abnormal activity.

- Create some type of unique identifier, that only you know for your valuable items (ex: engraving on power tools).

- Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle.

- Lock your vehicle, residence, and out buildings.

CPD representative, Kena Reid also shared with the FCG that the CPD encourages residents to create an “8 pm. Routine” where you turn on outdoor lights, security/cameras, lock your vehicles and home. Reid said, “This will ensure you go to bed knowing you’ve done your best to keep your property safe with the tools you have available.”

If you see something odd, stay safe within your home and call the “non-emergency” number at (509) 628-0333. If you are witnessing a crime in “real-time” and there is imminent danger, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Be sure to observe your surroundings and take note of any details, such as shoes a suspect is wearing, etc. to relay to the officers that can assist in the investigation.

If you don’t have a security system, there is one thing you can do that doesn’t cost a lot to make your home more secure. Change out the screws in your door plate. Most are installed with 1/2 inch screws that are easily kicked in by a burglar. Change these out for four inch screws that will go through the door frame and into the framing of the house. This will make it harder for intruders to break through your door and allow you time to contact police.

Community members have taken to social media on the subject and even mentioned Neighborhood Watch. The FCG spoke to Chief Chris Lee who stated, “Neighborhood Watch is “intensive” with time, manpower, and structure.” He shared that in Richland they had “Community and Police” or CAP groups, which is basically the same type of thing, but more community driven. Lee stated it has to be the community leading it, because of the laws involved with policing, and he is more than willing to work with the community on setting something up.

The CPD gave a reminder to citizens stating, “Our office is not staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To contact an officer please call dispatch non-emergency at 509-628-0333 or in the case of an emergency call 9-1-1.”

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