Summer burglaries up in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Police officers in Greensboro say they're keeping an eye on a rising number of residential burglaries this summer.

While warmer months always tend to generate more crime, said Sgt. Patrick Uehline, the Western division of the Greensboro Police Department is getting the word out to homeowners and apartment renters.

"Every year we see a spike in burglaries over the summer months," he said. "Right now the detectives are carrying forty to fifty of these cases."

They have made several arrests, added Sgt. Uehline, but since July 1, 207 forcible residential burglaries were reported citywide.

In many cases, Officer Greg Bailey explained, thieves are targeting lawn equipment in sheds, storage units and garages.

"These individuals are trying to get rid of stolen items, sometimes using pawn shops, eventually just selling them out on the street or by word of mouth, or on Craigslist," he said.

Melissa Faircloth lives on Dolley Madison Road in Greensboro. Her parents moved in with her to get away from crime in their old neighborhood, but last weekend burglars hit her dad's trailer in the backyard full of equipment he uses for his lawn care business.

"His blower and his weed eater were gone," she explained. "And they damaged doors and sawed through locks on our sheds."

"It shocks me to hear about it in this area. If you're that hard up for money, work for it. Everybody else has to work for it," Melissa insisted.

Officer Bailey says families can visit the police department and pick up an inventory list to fill out at home, organizing a list of their expensive items and related serial numbers.

"Of course the important thing is the serial number. It could be as far away as Anchorage, Alaska. As long as you have a serial number, we can find property and get it back to you," explained Officer Bailey.

Sgt. Uehline also described a program at the Western Division of the Police Department where people in the community can "check out" an invisible ink pen kit for 48 hours and secretly mark their items.

"It's an invisible pen that puts a marking on your items and under ultraviolet light you can see the markings," he said. "So that we can use it in conjunction with a serial number if [your property] is stolen and get it back to them."

Melissa says her family would be interested in the invisible ink program, and hopes thieves in Greensboro think twice before making a move. "You're hitting a family that needs this money."

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