Syracuse meeting tackles burglary problems

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Police Chief Frank Fowler addressed community leaders on Monday night about the city's efforts to combat burglaries.

Syracuse officials met with invited city leaders on Monday night to address growing concerns about burglary within the city.

Some neighbors are trying to prevent burglaries themselves. "We have cameras, we have indoor cameras," said Michele Rourke of Syracuse's Neighborhood Watch program. "So we all keep an eye on our neighbors' houses. You know, if I'm going away or my neighbor is going away, we keep each other posted and say, 'Could you keep an eye on each others' houses?'"

Statistics on Syracuse burglaries committed over the last four weeks show more were committed by juveniles than by adults. The city says that the opposite is usually true, and that it is diligently working on the problem.

"We have more police officers than ever out on patrol," said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. "And we are catching these folks, and we are putting them through the system. We have our finger on the pulse of what is going on."

The city says most of its burglaries happen between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., and 32 percent of the places burglarized this year were unlocked, making it critical that people take care to lock up.

Officials told city leaders at the meeting that the key is to minimize a burglar's opportunity by taking precautions. Recommended precautions include installing motion-sensor lights, ensuring all doors and windows are locked before leaving and going to sleep, and trimming hedges so burglars have fewer places to hide.

The city says that there has not been a significant increase in burglaries overtime. In the Cityâ??s presentation, Miner and Fowler detailed some of the statistics.

From January 1 through November 30, 2012, police say there were 1,773 reported burglaries. Of those, 17 percent (301 burglaries) took place at businesses and 83 percent (1,472 burglaries) at residential buildings, such as homes and garages, according to the presentation.

There was an overall increase in reported burglaries from 2011 to 2012, 19 percent overall. The Southeast district had a 57 percent increase in burglaries, the Northwest district had a 55 percent increase, the Northeast district had a 12 percent increase, and the Southwest district actually had a 7 percent decrease.

Compared to 2010, the Northeast and Southwest districts had a decrease in burglaries in 2012, 2 percent and 28 percent respectively. The Northwest and Southeast had an increase of 25 and 24 percent respectively from 2010, according to the presentation.