Burglaries in Columbia increase in July
COLUMBIA — According to Columbia Police Department data, Columbia typically sees an increase in burglaries during July.
Spokesperson Bryana Larimer said summer is known to be vacation time.
“I would say, in any city, if you look at their data, you’ll probably see a rise in burglaries during that time of the year just based off of the fact that people are gone and away from their homes,” she said.
There were 108 burglaries in Columbia last July, the highest number of the year. When looking at five-year averages, July remains on top.
Columbia resident Amanda Caldwell had heard that crime usually increases over summer breaks but didn’t realize it could happen to her until she became part of the data.
Last July, Caldwell was on vacation and her roommates were gone for the night. When they returned the next morning, it was evident someone had been there.
“Whenever my roommate came in, the back door was wide open and the only thing that was missing was our TV, which was about 47 inches, and they unhooked all of the cables from it,” said Caldwell. "They even unhooked the Xbox."
Caldwell said, in her case, the entry wasn’t forced. Her roommate had left the door unlocked. Since then, she takes extra precautions and always makes sure doors and windows are closed and locked.
“It made me feel uncomfortable. I’m not really afraid of living by myself and I don’t really have a fear of anybody breaking in, but it is kind of unnerving to just think that anybody could do that to anyone at anytime,” Caldwell said.
Larimer said, “Burglars are opportunistic criminals, so they are literally going to the homes where they believe doors, vehicles, items are going to be left unattended or left unlocked. And so again, it’s important to always be conscientious even if you think ‘Hey, this would never happen to me.’”
In response to the increase in burglaries last year, CPD began doing what is called saturation patrols.
“We had officers out on the streets specifically patrolling areas where we were seeing increases in burglaries,” Larimer said.
She said the CPD did saturation patrols over spring break, but she isn't sure whether they will happen in July.
Larimer said, so far this year, burglaries are down.