\'Pop, Drop, and Lock\' before leaving for vacation

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is taking action to reduce the amount of unlocked doors in the area. The department is reminding residents to "Pop, drop and lock" your doors. 

Pop your lights on, drop your blinds, and lock your doors and windows to prevent being target of burglaries. There have been a number of burglaries in the southern part of Columbia recently. 

Columbia Police Department Public Information Officer Bryana Maupin said, "We wanted it to not be specific to spring break, and with summer approaching we know there is a lot of residents that are going to be leaving town and going on vacations. So, we thought that is was extremely important to get the message out there, and again burglaries have been happening, and we want to make sure you're locking your things up before you leave to go on vacation."

Just in the past two weeks, there has been an increase in burglaries: Four burglaries in the Nifong and Bearfield area and three near Providence, south of Corporate Lake Drive. Below is a screen shot of RAIDS Online which shows where crime activity is taking place. 

"The similar circumstances to those cases are there has never been any force, which means the doors were left unlocked or there was another method of entry that didn't require force for the burglar," Maupin said.

"Some common denominators were the geographic location and the time of day which was from midnight to 7 a.m. and then the fact that there was no force were unlocked doors in all of those situations," Maupin said.

Just recently on, March 3, on Churchill Court and Bearfield Road a duplex was burglarized. One the same street as the burglarized home lives University of Missouri students Ben Delaney and Ben Niendick. 

Delaney said, "It made me a little unnerved, it wasn't something I really like, especially of you're sitting down doing homework someone coming in barging through the front door, you feel like the neighborhood is a lot safer than that. I don't really know what the deal was but it wasn't good."

Delaney said it's a mixture of families and college students in the area but primarily college students on Churchill Court.

Delaney said, "We moved here in June, some guys I knew going to college graduated last May, and we kind of took over the house from them. So, they never really had any trouble, so it seemed like a really safe place, not too far from campus, and it wasn't too far from 63 to get home."

"We are pretty diligent about keeping the house locked up trying to keep at least a few lights on so we don't get broken into," Delaney said.