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Theives hit Kent neighborhoods

By Julie Pavelich Record-Courier staff writer Published: August 7, 1997 12:00 AM

Kent Police also are investigating several recent break-ins to area houses and are asking homeowners and apartment dwellers alike to take more ownership in their neighborhood to crack down on crime.

"Neighbors need to have more concern and awareness where they live and be aware of strangers in the area," said. Lt. James Stein. "A lot of times when something happens in a neighborhood, people will say they saw something suspicious but didn't want to bother us.

"Bother us so we can be preventative before something happens," he said.

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Police have investigated several theft reports from homes in many Kent neighborhoods in recent months, including one last week in which more than $6,000 in jewelry was taken from a house on Jesse Avenue.

Many of the break-in have occurred because a lower level window has been open, Stein said.

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"When it gets hot, people open their windows leaving only the screen, and that is easy to cut," Stein said. "Those are the houses they enter because there is easy access.

"In the past, we have had reports of people knocking at the door when no lights are on to see if anyone is home," he said. "If no one is at home, it is an easy target."

Just as homeowners need to keep closer watch in their neighborhoods, so do apartment dwellers, said Kent Police Chief James Peach.

Several break-ins and thefts were reported to Kent Police Sunday from the Glenmorris Apartments on Morris Road. Many residents' cars, all parked in the complex lot, had their locks punched in if they weren't already unlocked.

Total values of items taken ranged from $20 to more than $1,100 and included compact discs, radio and cassette players, and loose change and cash, according to police reports.

Similar incidents occur year-round, but seem to pick up once Kent State University is in fall session and more students are living in area apartments and are using more of KSU's parking lots, Peach said.

"Anytime there are a lot of apartments, they are subject to a lot of thefts. With all the apartments in town, Kent is a whole gold mine," Peach said. "When the students get back, they will be victimized too. The people responsible don't care if it's on or off campus; it's a crime of opportunity."

Police are investigating all of the reported car thefts and break-ins, but are unsure if they are related.

"Sometimes two or three places are hit in a week, then it will be a while and they'll go to the next place," Peach said. "It's a small group of people who make their rounds and randomly take large volumes of belongings from cars in parking lots in the early morning hours."

Apartment residents and KSU on-campus students need to make sure their vehicles are locked and that nothing valuable is left inside, he said.

In addition, people who live in an apartment complex or neighborhood need to be aware of suspicious people, noises and circumstances, especially late at night and early in the morning.

"People need to take ownership and be more vigilant," Peach said.

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