Kennewick Police Closing In on Burglary Suspects, Offering Preve - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Police Closing In on Burglary Suspects, Offering Prevention Tips

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KENNEWICK, WA-- Kennewick police say they now have several suspects for both the residential and commercial burglaries.

Officers described as a big web of clues and they're getting closer to closing in on suspects.

Police say they think the residential burglaries are related. And they believe a separate group is responsible for the commercial thefts that are likely related as well.

"Two groups actively working the Tri-Cities area both residential and commercial. This is unusual," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

A series of recent burglaries has local homeowners and businesses on alert.

Kennewick police say they're making strides to hold these thieves accountable.

"We know we're getting close when they stop. So that tells us we've put up enough heat or we have people in jail on unrelated charges at this point that we've impacted their activity," Lattin said.

Officers urge people to keep an eye out for strange activity and say neighbors or nearby businesses can be the most effective tool to prevent burglaries.

"One of these things by itself may not mean that much, but if you have a couple of them happen and you start seeing those things, talk to your neighbors and find out the same things has been happening to them, that's when it's time to call and make sure we're aware of what's going on in your neighborhood," said Mike Blatman, Kennewick Police Department.

Forming a neighborhood watch group can be an effective way to communicate with neighbors. Kennewick police will come and teach your group tips or go to your business and conduct a security survey.

Police urge people to call in any break-ins or tips because you could help close these cases.

"We realize that skews our numbers, that sends our burglary rates up. It doesn't matter. We ant to investigate everyone because there may be that one clue that we need that will break this case wide open. Holding people accountable, putting them in jail for their crimes is what we want to do," Lattin said.

Tri-Cities crime stoppers has some theft prevention tips as well. The following helpful hints from a burglar's point of view:

•You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

•Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

•Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

•Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

•To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

•Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

•Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

•Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

•If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

•If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

•A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

•It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

•I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

•Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

•Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.