Brighton, N.Y. - “It's not the way things were when I grew up,” said Judy Schwartz, President of the Virginia Colony Association. “You left your doors open and your windows open, you didn't have a care.”
Things have changed for the longtime Brighton resident Schwartz, who calls herself the neighborhood nag.
“People have just been negligent, leaving things out, leaving a purse near a window that's open overnight,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz works with the police, sending residents a letter warning them of the spike in burglaries.
There have been 96 so far this year; last year, there were 66.
Police say the suspects are breaking into homes overnight.
“Some of these homes that were burglarized were occupied at the time," Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said. “In one particular case we had a young person who was asleep on the couch and woke up to find two intruders inside.”
Henderson says thieves are getting in through unlocked doors and windows left open, cutting the screens.
Police say homeowners need to take precaution.
“In the case of your home, I know the weather's been hot, people have been opening up their windows, you got to think on the ground floor, if you can look in from the outside where are your valuables?” Henderson asked.
Henderson also tells 13WHAM there were 24 reported thefts from cars this past weekend; most were left unlocked.
There have also been thefts at businesses along the Monroe Avenue corridor, including the Mobil gas station at 12 Corners. An arrest has been made in that case.
There’s also been an arrest from a burglary that happened in one Brighton neighborhood.
Police say they have increased patrols.
They’re encouraging residents to keep track of weekly criminal activity on The Police Blotter on the town’s website.
You can also contact Chief Henderson with questions at 784-5101 or email@example.com.