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Summer Home Security Tips - Break-ins and Contractor Scams in Lexington, MA

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August 9, 2011
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Summer Home Security Tips - Break-ins and Contractor Scams in Lexington, MA

Students of US history remember Lexington and Concord (Massachusetts, that is!) as the sites of the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. Now Lexington is back in the news, with a new brand of conflict – between criminals on the one hand, and police allied with homeowners on the other. In this recent story about residential crime, you can read about a spike in burglaries, combined with a popular scam used in warm weather.

Police in Lexington are investigating a series of residential breaking-and-entering’s and reported paving scams that have occurred in recent weeks. Reports of car-breaks came in by the dozen earlier this spring in Lexington, but alleged thieves, it seems, moved beyond the driveways and have begun hitting houses. In recent weeks, the Lexington Police Department has received several reports of home burglaries and attempted house-breaks.

“Ruse” Burglaries on the Rise

This week, a Fletcher Road resident lost a jewelry box after someone allegedly burglarized her home and a Crawford Road woman called police after a carpenter repaired a back door that he thought someone tried to break through. Lt. Jim Barry, a spokesman for LPD, confirmed a recent increase in breaking-and-entering’s to Lexington residences, as well as potential scams involving persons posing as paving companies. The apparent increase could be seasonal, he said.

I’ve posted on these contractors pretending to offer work while they check out your home – and rip you off.

Paving – Burglars Like this Summer Scam

“There’s always a lull in the winter, as with everything else,” Barry said Friday morning. “Perps don’t like to be out in the cold, like the rest of us.” Police received a report of an attempted breaking-and-entering and possible gypsy activity on Hancock Street, where a resident said an unknown white man rang her doorbell and was attempting to gain entry. When she confronted him, the man allegedly offered to pave her driveway with some extra asphalt he had left over from a job in the neighborhood, the police report said. “The driveway paving scam is what we’re thinking,” Barry said of the incident. “A common driveway scam is when they’ll say they’ll sealcoat it and to stay off of it for the day so it dries, but it never dries because they used motor oil or some material like that.”

In the Fletcher Avenue incident, the homeowner reportedly lost a jewelry box filled containing a pearl necklace, earrings and costume jewelry after her front door was kicked in during the daytime. In the case of home burglaries, thieves often look for small, portable items, according to Barry, who noted jewelry, iPods and laptops. With the home intrusions, alleged thieves have been breaking in through – or breaking down – doors to gain access. “Be observant for people or vehicles parked out of place for a neighborhood at night,” said Barry. “We’re seeing things happening in the 10 p.m. timeframe, so if you see someone walking in the neighborhood or a car that’s not normally parked there, give us a call and we’ll come check it out.”

More Intrusions

Police have responded to several other reported home burglaries in recent weeks. On April 29, a large quantity of jewelry and electronic devices were reportedly taken from a home on Hancock Avenue where a person or persons allegedly gained access through a rear door. On April 10, police investigated a report of a home burglary on Normandy Road in which a resident alleged someone entered through an unlocked door the previous night and stole flatware. And on, April 17, police responded to Slocum Road for a reported breaking-and-entering in which a person or persons allegedly appeared to have shouldered through a rear door and stole $500 to $1,000 worth of sterling silverware.

As a reminder, here are three of the favorite blog posts for you to peruse as you consider your peace of mind:

Top 10 Home Security Tips

Where Burglars Break In

What Burglars Steal

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