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Brazen home burglary prompts MPD warnings

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POSTED August 27, 2014 12:43 a.m.

One Manteca senior citizen got an unexpected surprise late Tuesday morning when he returned to his home on April Way behind Springtime Park. 

It had been ransacked by burglars. 

But while the crime was brazen – breaking in to the house of somebody that just left in a the middle of the day and taking the time to dig through belongings – there have actually been fewer residential burglaries in the city over the course of the last month. 

According to RAIDS Online – the crime-mapping system linked off of the Manteca Police Department’s website – there were 12 homes burglarized in July. Tuesday’s only marks eight so far for the month of August. The geographic location also shows no real concentration over the course of the last 30 days as compared to July when three homes in the same residential tract were broken into. 

But for seniors – some of whom are homebound and live in situations where it might appear to an unsuspecting thief like they’re not actually there – the thought of somebody prying open a door or a window and slipping through is a scary one. 

According to Manteca Police Department Sergeant Jodie Estarziau, those that don’t leave the house very often – and those that care for those that don’t leave at all – can take a few steps to eliminate the sorts of signs that thieves look for when they’re out scouting for prospective marks. 

Removing newspapers or flowers that stack up in the driveway, she said, is a good way to maintain the appearance that somebody regularly comes and goes. Networking with neighbors and even possibly getting a dog that could alert them to possible danger and thwart thieves are other viable tactics. 

And in the digital age, sharing as little as possible with the world is always the safe bet. Never, Estarziau said, post on social media when leaving the house – either short or long term – to eliminate the possibility that the information will easily find its way into the wrong hands and end up being used by those that will exploit it or possibly forwarded on to others that will.  

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