Police alert residents of burglaries, ask for help

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The cold weather doesn’t seem to be having much of an effect on criminals.

The Vandalia Police Department has been handling a number of burglary reports in recent weeks, and it’s asking for the public’s help in apprehending the criminals.

Chief Larry Eason reported on Monday that his officers had handled three reports of burglaries and three more attempted burglaries.

On Jan. 1, police received a report that someone had broken into a storage shed on a Vandalia Lake lot and taken an unknown number of power tools.

The next morning, a lake lot holder told police that someone had stolen a golf cart, a 5-foot-by-8-foot trailer and four or five cases containing power tools. The estimated value of the items taken from that lot exceeds $6,000.

On the evening of Jan. 2, police were called to a residence on Old Theatre Drive. The resident of that home told police that someone had tried to enter the home using a prying device. The report states that the suspect fled without successfully entering the home.

On the evening of Jan. 3, a resident in the 500 block of West Washington Street reported to police that someone had broken into their home and taken an unknown amount of change.

On Monday morning, police received a report of an attempted burglary at A to Z Automotive on Janett Avenue. Nothing was reported missing at the time.

Eason warns residents that the burglaries are not taking place only late at night or early in the morning.

“The burglars have been bold, acting in the early evening,” Eason said. “Twice, they have been attempting entry as the residents returned home.”

Police believe that the criminals may be knocking on the front door of residences to determine whether anyone is home at the time. If they don’t get any response, Eason said, they leave and then circle back to the residence, attempting to gain entry through the back door of the residence.

In alerting residents of the burglaries, Eason also asked residents to help find the individuals breaking into homes and businesses. And, he reminded residents that they can provide any information about the burglaries anonymously.

Anonymous information is received through the Fayette County Crime Watchers program. Residents can call police at 283-1896, and those who provide police with information that leads to an arrest are eligible for cash rewards.