INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline Village is averaging roughly one home burglary a week since the start of November, prompting authorities to increase their focus on the community.
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office detectives believe more than one suspect is responsible for eight residential burglaries and as many as 12 vehicle burglaries that have occurred here since Nov. 1.
“This has become an important issue, and we are working agency-wide to get to bottom of it,” said WCSO Public Information Officer Bob Harmon. “The sheriff’s office is devoting extra resources into solving these crimes.”
The residential crimes happened in seasonal homes or in those that were vacated for a period of time, he said, and have occurred in several areas and neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, most of the of the vehicle crimes have involved smashed windows, as opposed to unlocked cars.
While Harmon said a “substantial” amount was taken in one or two of the home burglaries, an estimated amount of cash and/or merchandise stolen among them all was not known.
Detectives are working with regional agencies, including Placer and Douglas counties and the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, Harmon said, to determine if thieves are hitting other areas.
Over the years, home and vehicle burglaries have become commonplace in Incline Village and surrounding neighborhoods such as Kings Beach and Tahoe City.
This is often due to residents and visitors opening themselves up to “crimes of opportunity” by not locking vehicles or leaving valuables in plain sight, said Washoe County Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek.
To avoid this, Kuzanek said one of the best steps residents can take is to get to know their neighbors.
“Neighbors watching out for neighbors is one of the best ways to spot suspicious activity,” he said. “A trusted friend or neighbor can also keep an eye on your house while you’re away.”
Residents are asked to report suspicious activity to the WCSO Detective Division at 775-328-3320, or contact Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.
PROTECT YOUR HOME
Here are some tips to help keep your home safe while traveling:
Never broadcast travel plans on a community email group, blog, Facebook, or other social networking site. Remember, if you check in on foursquare or Facebook, everyone knows you aren’t home.
Lock windows, sliders and doors when leaving for any length of time.
Stop all deliveries or arrange for someone to pick up your mail, newspapers and packages.
Never keep valuable objects in plain view.
Never leave a house key hidden outside of your home.
Place inside lights and a radio on timers so that they go on and off periodically in the evening hours.
Leave blinds and drapes in normal position on second floor windows and closed on ground level so no one can look inside and view an empty home.
If you return home and it looks like someone has entered your home, do not go inside. Use a cellphone or go to a safe location to contact the authorities.
Source: WCSO. Additional safety tips are available under the “Staying Safe” page at washoesheriff.com.