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home : current news : current news June 20, 2018

5/23/2018 8:04:00 AM
Sheriff's office investigates break-ins
By Sue Stafford

News of several break-ins in the Sisters area has heightened community awareness that Sisters is no longer the sleepy little town where doors can be left unlocked.

The first break-in occurred on February 27 near Fryrer Road and appeared to be an isolated incident. On May 5, a house off Holmes Road was entered when the occupants weren't at home. Six days later, on May 11, a break-in took place on Buckhorn Lane.

The sheriff's office has not announced a connection among the three robberies but they did all appear to have occurred during daylight hours. Sgt. William Bailey of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office (DCSO) told The Nugget they don't like to release details of the crimes or what was taken while they are still being investigated.

The best defense to protect against a crime from happening on your property is to mount a good offense. Bailey outlined a number of steps that a property owner can take to help deter thieves.

It takes no financial outlay to form active partnerships with neighbors to agree to keep an eye on each other's property and report any suspicious activity. If a strange vehicle or person is seen in the area, get a license plate number and any description, if possible. Call the DCSO to report the activity and Bailey said an officer would respond.

There is a variety of monitoring/surveillance equipment available for purchase and installation by the property owner, starting at less than $100.

"Criminals don't want to get caught. They want to commit the crime and get away with it," Bailey said.

The sergeant said a good deterrent is anything that captures an image. Cameras for external and/or internal video surveillance can catch a thief in the act. Providing their image to the police is the best way to catch them and also the best deterrent to having the crime committed in the first place.

Available online are multiple models of wifi-enabled doorbells with real-time video cameras, most with night vision and motion detection. Some also allow for two-way talk. The system includes an app that downloads to a cell phone and is able to control the doorbell, take a photo, record a video, and talk with a visitor no matter where the phone's owner is at the time. These units are remarkably affordable and don't require complicated installation.

There are a number of monitored alarm systems that will alert a central control center of a break-in, with notification to local law enforcement. These systems generally require professional installation with a monthly monitoring fee.

Bailey said even a simple outside auditory alarm can act as a deterrent to a would-be-thief who might run given the possibility of attention drawn by the sound.

Being aware of unusual activity in your neighborhood or down the road, making sure your doors and windows are secured, alerting your neighbors when you will be out of town, and having partnerships with neighbors in close proximity to keep an eye on each others' homes all help.

It may also be possible to alert the DCSO when the property will be vacant and request a vacation check. However, the ability to perform those checks is dependent on the availability of deputies and a form must be completed requesting such service.

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