House break-ins skyrocketed 24 percent in Boston last year, shattering the security of renters and homeowners who say they learned the hard way the importance of deadbolting doors, keeping lights on and eyes open.I guess arming yourself isn't a consideration. Pumping some thief full of hot lead would do more to reduce crime than getting a dog, trust me.
“Keep your windows locked. Don’t make yourself vulnerable,” said Alison Smith, 23, a college student whose Mission Hill apartment was hit by two thugs climbing in through an open window while her roommate slept. “We didn’t really understand what could possibly happen. ”
New statistics show police need cooperation from residents more than ever. Home burglaries are soaring, and most of them go unsolved.
• In 2010, only 11 percent of the 2,846 reported home break-ins were solved. The previous year, only 14 percent of the 2,282 reported breaks were solved. Nationally, the clearance rate for burglaries is about 12 percent, according to the FBI.
• House break-ins jumped 24 percent from 2009 to 2010, and as much as 60 percent in some places, such as Roxbury. They were up in all but three of the city’s 12 police districts.
BPD Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey blames the bad economy for the increase, but urged residents to take simple steps to protect themselves.
Thieves get in through unlocked doors and windows about 50 percent of the time, he said. Keeping lights on when you’re gone and calling 911 when you see suspicious people can make a huge difference, he said. Police also recommend installing a security alarm or, if money’s tight, getting a dog.
Meanwhile, stupidity plays a major role. You take a bunch of teenagers leaning toward the liberal persuasion and drop them in an urban environment where they spend half their waking hours getting drunk. The criminals laugh with delight at the easy pickings.
It’s all part of BPD’s “holistic” approach to solving house break-ins, Linskey said. Home burglaries had been steadily decreasing before last year’s spike. So far, in the first 10 weeks of this year, house breaks are down 18 percent.This seems to be working as well as the "holistic" approach to home foreclosures. Come to think of it, if more houses are foreclosed on, there'll be less incentive for thieves to break in.
In a big city, where house break-ins get little attention, Linskey hopes residents know that police take the crime seriously.
“It shakes your trust in your neighborhood,” he said.
Victims say it takes a long time to get over the trauma.