OCEAN CITY – Residents in the north end of town have been on alert this past week as a series of burglaries have taken place in the area.
Since last October in north Ocean City, there have been approximately 50 burglaries, both attempted and actual burglaries. The incidents have occurred mainly in the two large residential communities — Montego Bay and Caine Woods. The method used to break into homes has all been forced entry, mainly windows in doors in nonvisible areas.
Over the last week, residents in the Caine Woods community may have noticed an increase in police presence since a number of burglaries occurred.
The recent spree started on May 20 when two burglaries were reported on Fiesta Road in Caine Woods, followed by another on the same street on May 23.
On May 24, a burglary was reported on South Surf Rd., which intersects with Fiesta Rd., and the next day two more attempted burglaries were reported on South Surf.
“What we have been experiencing uptown has been unoccupied residences,” Ocean City Police Department Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Waters said. “It is important to let our residents know that, because we don’t want them feeling they can’t go to sleep at night because someone is going to break into their home.”
It’s difficult for the police to be able to tell if the burglaries are slowing down because at the time they are reported it’s hard to tell when the incident actually occurred since they are happening in unoccupied homes.
“We are hoping a strong police presence in those neighborhoods will help decrease the number,” Water said.
The OCPD’s Criminal Investigation Department has been proactive in investigating the cases to find the people that are committing the crimes. There have been no specific suspects identified yet.
OCPD encourages residents and visitors to keep all window and doors locked while not in use, as well as keep your home well lit.
“Lighting is one of the best deterrents in crime prevention,” Waters said.
She added that if residents are planning on not being at their home for a length of time to ask a neighbor to check on the property or subscribe to OCPD’s Residential Security Check program. The police will check on a registered property three times a day, once every shift. In the last week, the program has received at least 30 new registrants.
“This is exactly what the program is here for and we really encourage people to use that program,” Waters said.
The OCPD also offers a Residential Security Vulnerability Assessment where Crime Prevention Officer Mike Levy will come to a home and assess the property’s security, as well as offer inexpensive solutions.
Also, if you return to your property and something doesn’t seem right, Waters said don’t hesitate to call the police.
“Call us if you are worried about going in,” Waters said. “Don’t try to confront a situation if you are not comfortable. Give us a call and we will come help you to make sure everything is ok for you to go into.”
Since the chain of burglaries have occurred, the OCPD is teaming up with the Neighborhood Watch Association to stay on track.
“We are teaming up with our neighborhood watch groups in those areas, and asking citizens to be the eyes and ears and to report any kind or suspicious activities, suspicious people or suspicious vehicles,” Waters said. “Nobody knows those neighborhoods better than the people that live there, so we are asking those citizens to give us call … The most important thing is, while we are asking them to be on the lookout we don’t want people to get involved to the point where it would put them in a dangerous situation. If you see something, call us but don’t get involved.”