Burglary surge in Sun Cities sparks local alert - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Burglary surge in Sun Cities sparks local alert

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Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011 4:00 pm

Sun City authorities are stepping up patrols after a recent increase in burglaries in two areas of the community. They hope neighbors will stay alert, too.

Sun City Posse Commander Bill Dyer said an increase in daytime burglaries in the neighborhoods bordered by 107th and 111th avenues and Olive Avenue and Mission Lane and between 107th and 111th avenues along Santa Fe Drive will lead to more patrols, both by the Posse and by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s all of a sudden,” Dyer said. “And they’re in the daytime, which is a little different.”

Dyer said the Posse will add one car to each shift, and pay particular attention to those areas.

MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong said the District 3 sheriff’s office in Surprise will also boost patrols in Sun City with a combination of personnel and district detectives in a newly formed special squad.

“If we need help, we’re in direct contact with them,” Dyer said. “I think it’s going to help a great deal.”

Dyer said because of the information circulating through the community about the burglaries, the Posse has seen interest grow in its Block Watch neighborhood program, and the group now gives an average of two or three presentations about it each week. That community vigilance is important, he said.

“The most important deterrent to crime is good neighbors watching,” Dyer said.

Tony Sambol, commander of Sun City West Sheriff’s Posse, said his community has not seen an uptick in burglaries.

But they’re prepared if there is an outbreak.

“If we see an increase in activities, then we definitely patrol the areas as much as possible to make sure homes are safe,” Sambol said.

He said Sun City West has initiated active neighborhood watch programs and talked with residents about making contact with MCSO, if they see suspicious activity.

“The last time this happened we were able to catch the people responsible for burglarizing homes,” Sambol said. “We just try to stay as prepared as much as possible, so this won’t happen.”

It’s been three years since Sun City West has had a string of burglaries.

The Sun Cities area is still a safe place to live, Dyer said. The bulk of crimes usually happen in shopping centers, and these daytime burglaries are unusually bold.

“The community itself is relatively safe compared to others that you would live in,” Dyer said.

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