Police have stepped up their patrol of Doylestown's Maple Avenue, but also are asking for help from the public to solve a string of burglaries in the area.
Doylestown Borough Police Chief Jim Donnelly on Monday asked people to pay closer attention to the people and vehicles in their neighborhoods, and to call police immediately if they see something suspicious.
"You live in the neighborhood, you know who should be there and who shouldn't," the chief told the audience at Monday's borough council meeting. "I don’t care if it’s the priest, the pope or the rabbi. Give us a call and we’ll go out there and investigate."
Four homes on Maple Avenue have been burglarized since Jan. 11.
"Three were nighttime burglaries where someone entered through an unlocked door or window and removed iPads, computers, laptops, and left," Donnelly said. "It was in and out very quickly. They were looking for whatever they could get easily."
The most recent incident was a daytime burglary in which someone broke out a basement window in the back of the house, the chief said.
"They were in there for some time. They were opening drawers and looking for whatever they can find."
Borough police officers are taking extra patrols in the area in marked and unmarked cars, Donnelly said. But they also asked for neighbors to be vigilant.
A strange car or an unfamiliar face or even someone from the neighborhood out at an unusual time of day or night would warrant a call to the police, he said.
Too often, people think they're bothering the police, or turning in an innocent person, Donnelly said. But rather than worrying about that, he encouraged people to call the police and let them sort it out.
In the same vein, the chief also asked people to check on their neighbors, especially those who are older or infirm.
"It’s very important that you take care of each other," Donnelly said.
And he offered one final piece of advice in combating thieves.
"Don’t make it easy for them," he said. "Lock your doors, lock your windows."
Another burglary on Meadow Lane on Sunday appears to be unrelated to the Maple Avenue ones, Donnelly said. In that instance, jewelry was stolen while the homeowners were out, he said.
The homeowners' dogs were in the house but were unharmed.
Councilwoman Joan Doyle asked about the possibility of starting neighborhood watch groups in certain parts of town.
Donnelly said he would be happy to work with any group of residents that wants to do so.
"We can start a block watch any place," the chief said, adding that it doesn't necessarily need to be an organized, formal group. "You can do a block watch just by sitting out in your front window and watching what’s going on around you."
- Jan. 11, between midnight and 5 a.m., 300 block of Maple Avenue,
- Feb. 1 or 2, between 9 p.m. and 1 p.m., 500 block of Maple Avenue
- Feb. 15 or 16, between 11 p.m. and 7:15 a.m., 300 block of Maple Avenue
- Feb. 21, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:51 p.m., 300 block of Maple Avenue
Anyone with information regarding the burglaries is asked to call Doylestown Borough Police at 215-345-4143.
- Fourth Burglary Reported on Maple Avenue
- Third Maple Avenue Home Burglarized
- MacBooks Stolen on Maple Avenue