Columbia Police Increases Patrols to Prevent Burglaries

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COLUMBIA - Police said Thursday they have increased the number of officers and vehicles patrolling the city to prevent burglaries from happening during this spring break at MU and local public schools.

Public Information Officer Latisha Stroer said, "It is not just college students that are gone during spring break, our high schools are also, our schools, grade schools and middle schools that are out at the same time."

Burglaries in 2011 were up, totaling 16--one more than 2010.

Stroer said as of Monday, three days after spring break began, three burglaries had been reported. Stroer also said the break-ins were not related to anybody being out of town.

"It is a little early to compare last year's number to this year's number. We technically let spring break numbers roll until Sunday or Monday."

Columbia resident Suke Benzon said she doesn't feel safe staying in her house without her roommates.

"I feel like crime is going up in Columbia and it makes me nervous that I'm alone here during break. But maybe some of those people that are doing these crimes are away also during spring break."

Benzon said she takes precautionary steps by shutting the blinds, keeping the doors locked, and turning the lights on when is it not home at night.

"It helps me that a police car comes in to your parking area every now and then to check everything that's in the area."

The police will be able to get the final numbers once the students are back in town.

The police also reminds the community to call the Columbia Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 875-TIPS about any suspicious activities or vehicles in the area.