LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - While robberies and homicide rates are decreasing in our area, other crimes, primarily burglary, remain a consistent problem.
The Lawton Police Department says, on average, they investigate about 100 hundred burglaries a month, which is big a problem for both residents and the police department. The Lawton Police Department says they want to solve every burglary but, due to lack of evidence and manpower, that goes easier said than done.
We reached out to people on Facebook today who say they've fallen victim to burglaries. All day long people sent us messages about their experiences after their homes and cars were broken into. It seems that everyone -- in some way or another -- has been affected by these crimes, with most not being thrilled with how things were handled after the fact.
Sergeant Timothy Jenkins with the Lawton Police Department says he doesn't think the majority of burglaries are all that planned out.
"They're crimes of opportunity, people see the opportunity to commit a burglary so they take that chance,” Jenkins said. “So, for us to combat that and make it hard for those people to commit those burglaries, we have to take preventative measures."
Jenkins says the most common preventative measure is making sure that all of the doors and windows of your home are locked and secured.
"Pay attention to your neighborhood and surrounding areas as well,” Jenkins said. “If you have neighbors that are out of town or are elderly or ill and sick and can't get out, watch their place for them too. Just make sure your community is taken care of as well. If you see anything suspicious report it. That's a good way for us to help prevent what's going on with burglaries."
Jenkins says burglary cases are extremely difficult for the police department because they often have no suspects and little, if any, hard evidence.
"All of the work that goes into solving a burglary requires numerous, numerous hours of manpower, which we just, we don't have,” Jenkins said. “We don't have the resources to take fingerprints on every burglary, don't have the resources to thoroughly check every ins and outs of every burglary that occurs in Lawton, we don't have time to do that."
Jenkins says the police department does everything they can to solve the burglaries but knows that for most of the victims, they are unsatisfied and it is not enough.
"They've been victimized. They want their property back. They're wanting to know who did the crime, who broke into their house, who broke into their car and so it's tough for them to have to hear that we don't have any suspect information,” Jenkins said. “So, we tell people all the time, to better help us, take preventative measures. Do your best to make sure you are safe and your property is safe."
Jenkins says you can also help protect yourself by making sure to save the serial numbers on your valuables.
"A lot of the times, those items that are taken from your home, the burglars will go out and pawn them or sell them,” Jenkins said. “When that happens, the pawn shops will report to us all of the serial numbers, everything that was done for the day, so we're able to trace those serial numbers back to the person who pawns it, which will lead to a possible suspect in the burglary."
If you have been burglarized and are itching for answers, Jenkins says there is one thing you can do that he thinks will help.
"If you're wondering where you're at, what we're doing about it and where we're at in the case, call and talk to us. If there's a detective on your case, call and talk to the detective,” Jenkins said.