Thank You Officers !
Making Our Own Luck – Good Police Work Solves Crimes
Imagine arriving home from work to find your home ransacked and precious belongings missing. The sense of loss and violation would be “traumatic and unnerving,” as one recent victim put it. As police officers, we want to eliminate that feeling; we want people to feel safe; we want to identify the bad guys and provide evidence so the system can mete out justice. Our first choice it to prevent crime, but if we can’t do that (and sometimes we can’t), we certainly want to solve crimes.
That’s why I feel so proud of the Ukiah Police Department (UPD) officers who helped the burglary victim quoted above. She was so impressed by the UPD officers on her case that she felt compelled to write me a really nice thank you note. She wanted to make sure I knew about the “professional and competent work” on her case that solved the crime against her and led to the return of many valuable possessions. She said, “As a private citizen, I have found the Ukiah Police Department, to a person, the ‘Thin Blue Line’ that stands between us and the criminals that pollute our community.”
She continued by saying that as a result of the “mountain of evidence” collected by Detective Andy Phillips and Officer Tyler Schapmire, the burglar was recently convicted and awaits sentencing.
Unfortunately, more and more homes here in the Ukiah and Redwood Valley areas are being burglarized.
During a typical month, we investigate about 15 home and business burglaries, and more than 30 significant thefts. That’s more than one invasive burglary or felony theft every single day.
Burglaries are becoming way too common. Nearly two-thirds of all burglaries in the United States are residential, and of those, 62 percent occur during the daytime between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when no one is likely to be home. Here are some tips to deter thieves. I’ve shared them before, but they’re worth repeating:
- Secure sliding doors. Put a steel rod in the door channel. Install two or three screws in the overhead track to reduce the chance of the door being lifted out of the track.
- Install a burglar alarm system.
- Have a wide-angle door viewer (peephole) installed in your front door, so you can see who is at the door. Cover it when you’re not using it so people cannot use a reverse lens to look inside your home.
- Keep the area around your house well lit. This will discourage burglars.
- Make sure that the locks on your doors and windows are strong and secure, and then use them.
- Display "Beware" signs. If you have a dog or an alarm system, put up signs that say so. They deter thieves.
- Never leave a house key in an obvious place such as a mailbox or under a doormat.
The best tool we have in deterring and preventing crimes is reports from local citizens. If you think something’s wrong, call us, whether it’s a burglary, auto theft, car break-in, vandalism, graffiti, drug dealing or gang activity. Trust your instincts.
To report suspicious activity or a crime occurring within Mendocino County call the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at 463-4086, or 911 for in-progress crimes. To report suspicious activity or a crime occurring within the City of Ukiah, call the Ukiah Police Department at 463-6262, or 911 for in-progress crimes.
If you want to know what’s happening in your neighborhood, you can sign up to receive alerts through Nixle. If you visit our website, you can also enter your Ukiah address and see what, if any, crimes have been reported in your area recently. We all want our city to be safe, and if we work together, we can definitely make progress in that direction!
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications, by clicking the Nixle button on our website www.ukiahpolice.com.