EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene Police Department (EPD) said residents may be making it easier for criminals to take advantage them. The Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) reported 100 burglaries from July 9 to August 5, many of which they believe could have easily been prevented. EPD said while the numbers are about average for this time of year, about 80 percent of those break-ins were through unlocked or opened homes, which is much higher than normal.
While EPD said Thursday’s burglary on Peppertree Drive couldn’t have been avoided, other homeowners may not be taking the proper safety precautions to protect themselves.
“We discovered that a pretty good percentage of them were through unlocked windows or doors for residential burglaries. So that was a pretty concerning trend,” said Crime Prevention Unit Program Manager Debbie Janecek.
The Peppertree Drive incident didn’t happen far from the area EPD believes may be a hot spot for this type of crime. EPD said a good number of them occur in and around the Churchhill area, something many of those living there weren’t surprised to hear.
Resident Paula Swan said, “I’m very conscientious about locking doors and making sure that lower level windows are always shut and locked or somehow secured so you know somebody can’t get in.”
EPD said doing just that, making sure your doors, windows and even garages are closed as well as keeping your valuables out of sight are exactly what everyone should be doing.
While Janecek said it may not be 100 percent foolproof, it will go a long way to protecting people from becoming victims to such crimes.
To keep an extra eye out, it wasn’t uncommon to find a few neighbors with security systems and even cameras for those times when they had their backs turned. And if all else fails, they said they have each other.
“We just sort of without even thinking about it, when we notice someone who doesn’t belong, we don’t hesitate to go out and ask if we can help,” said resident Margaret Lowen.
Many described the area as a welcoming and friendly neighborhood and they want to make sure it stays that way.
If you need help making sure your home is secure as possible, contact EPD’s Crime Prevention Unit and schedule for a specialist to come by and do a safety inspection.