Burglaries Still Prominent in South Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Employees of the Rolling Rock townhouse community off Rock Quarry Road put up nets for windows and a bar on a door Tuesday after Columbia Police officers responded to another burglary incident Monday night on Stags Way. The residents of one of the houses had their doors locked, but their home was still missing valuables when they came home Monday night.

"I got home and my curtains had been ripped down because we think they came through the window," resident Emily Doucette said.

Doucette said the burglar took an Xbox, a pair of headphones, and checkbooks. Doucette said even though the burglar didn't take irreplaceable items, she has become more paranoid.

"It's just uncomfortable knowing that someone was in your room and invading your space and going through your things," she said.

This is the seventh burglary incident in the past week in south Columbia. Columbia Police Sergeant Joe Bernhard said burglars target the south side of Columbia because it is a densely populated area.

"You have a lot more people living in that area so there's more likelihood that somebody's going to leave a door open or something in their car unlocked," Bernhard said.

Columbia Police officers have been taking steps to warn residents about the recent incidents, but said locking your cars and doors is only the first step to help prevent a burglary.

"Keys are a big deal for college students, you know people losing their keys," Bernhard said. "Don't hide them under your mat, or on top of a door, or something like that, put them in a lock box with a combination."

Bernhard said a sign last week on Grindstone Parkway and Bearfield Road reading, "Lock your doors, lock your cars, increased burglary area," was to make residents more aware burglaries in their area were becoming more common. According to the Columbia Police, there have been 14 burglaries in the past two weeks in the area.

Visit the Columbia Police Department's page for a burglary prevention video and a list of tips.