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While Jesus Arroyo was at large Tuesday and police went door-to-door searching for him, officers noticed a disturbing and potentially dangerous trend.
Not only were doors, windows and garages left unlocked, homes were unoccupied and unsecured.
Racine police Sgt. Jessie Metoyer noted in a written release that a search for a fugitive is an extremely rare situation, but unlocked doors and windows were practically an invitation for Arroyo if he’d attempted to hide in a home. Had that been the case, the safety risk to both area residents and officers would have increased exponentially.
Arroyo was apprehended late Tuesday night after making his way to a relative’s home after he escaped police custody Tuesday afternoon and hid under a bridge until dark.
More commonly, unsecured residences become targets for burglars.
“Burglaries are committed during the day when most homes are believed to be unoccupied (and) most burglaries are crimes of opportunity,” Metoyer wrote in the release. “Offenders find a home with an unsecured door, open ground floor windows, opened garage doors, and easily removable window unit air conditioners.”
Reported burglaries are down 22 percent from last year, and Metoyer recognized the efforts of citizens to make their neighborhoods safer by taking steps to deter crime and reporting suspicious activity when they see it. Still, there are steps residents should take to make their homes a more difficult target:
- If you must use a window unit air conditioner – secure it such that it cannot be easily
- While away for traveling – have mail and newspaper delivery stopped or have neighbors collect them for you
- Break down all major appliance/high ticket item boxes on garbage day (TV, computer, etc.)
- Report all suspicious persons or activity that you observe in your neighborhood
Anyone with information about crimes throughout the community – including burglaries – can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330, or by texting RACS plus the message to CRIMES (274637) and referring to Tipsoft I.D. #TIP417 with your text message.