Story last updated at 3:32 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 2002

String of burglaries causes concern
by Chris Bernard
Staff Writer

Homer police are investigating a string of burglaries over the past week that they say may, or may not, be linked.

The crimes have occurred both in and outside downtown Homer. While few residential burglaries have been reported, several cars have been vandalized and broken into, said Chief Mark Robl.

His advice? Lock your doors.

"There's definitely a level of complacency, or a false sense of security, that happens in small towns," he said. "But take your keys with you, and lock your vehicle's doors."

Even at home, at night, he said.

"Definitely -- even if you live on a dark little side street 10 miles out East End Road," Robl said. "We had a car broken into there, too."

In one case, a complainant reported her Svedlund Street apartment had been broken into. The police report said pry marks were evident on the door. Another complainant reported a theft from a Ben Walters Lane neighborhood apartment.

Another caller reported someone inside her residence near Jennifer Place. The suspect fled on foot as police officers arrived. In the same neighborhood, a caller reported someone tampered with her vehicle during the night.

On Pine Terrace Circle, a 911 caller reported suspects attempting to steal her car -- and another household member holding them at gunpoint.

And another caller told police he was chasing someone he believed had tried to break into a building near Soundview Avenue

Car break-ins on Thurston Drive and Greenwood Road were also reported to the Alaska State Troopers.

Robl said it's hard to tell at this point whether the burglaries are related, but he said he thinks it is possible.

"We see a spike in crime in the winter months, but I don't think there's any real concern here," he said. "Once in a while we'll get a little spree, and I think maybe that's what we're seeing now. But we also have a high success rate catching them."

In the meantime, Robl said, people should keep their doors locked.

"It sounds like common sense," he said. "And it should be."

Chris Bernard can be reached at cbernard@homer