Police Chief: "We're Being Targeted"
Brazen daylight robberies have police around Doylestown worried, and one area chief is attributing them to escalating hard drug use.
Even deadbolts and daylight aren't stopping the thieves targeting Doylestown homes.
Recent burglaries around Doylestown have township police Chief Stephen White worried enough that he took the opportunity at Tuesday night's township supervisors' meeting to remind people to call the police at the first sign of trouble.
It would seem like common sense, but too many people don't pick up the phone until it's too late, he said.
"If you see two guys carrying a television, and a crowbar, out your neighbor’s front door, that’s a good hint you want to call the police department," White said, only half joking.
The most recent break in happened Tuesday sometime between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., White said. The back door of a home in the 100 block of Woodview Drive was kicked in or otherwise broken down, despite being locked with a deadbolt, the police chief said. The thief stole various items of jewelry.
A similar daytime burglary happened on Jan. 5 in the 600 block of North Shady Retreat Road. A white man in his 20s, dressed in dark clothing, broke a rear window and was trying to enter the home when the homeowner - who was home at the time - discovered it.
"They tried kicking in the back door of the house and the homeowner was able to scream" and scare him off, White said Tuesday night.
And last Friday, Jan. 13, there were three attempted burglaries of homes behind ACME in Doylestown Borough, White said. Borough police arrested a suspect from Feasterville in connection with those attempts, White said
"This is a guy, about 30 years old, from Feasterville, who's known to us," White said after the supervisors' meeting. "He's coming all the way up here to do this. Why? We're being targeted."
Residents are asked to be extra attentive to suspicious activity and to immediately report it to the Bucks County Emergency Communications Center at 215-348-4200.
"Over my career, people have said they don’t want to bother the police. This is where you want to bother the police department," White said. "We need as much help as possible to catch these guys."
As for motivation for the robberies, White said he is convinced that escalating use of serious drugs is fueling the rash of crime.
"I think the oxycontin and heroin use is extremely bad these days," he said. "I think people are extremely desperate."