Home break-ins have been a growing issue in the area over the past three years, including in Milton. So far in 2011, there have been 54 home break-ins in town according to the .
In response to the most incidents this year—13 burglaries in the month of September—the Milton PD hosted a meeting at the on Wednesday, October 5. The well-attended session, led by Police Chief Richard Wells Jr., covered causes, successful arrests and, most importantly, how community vigilance can curb property crimes.
“Our greatest information comes from you,” said Wells.
Like at the the Police held at in May and an earlier meeting at Unquity House, Wells explained that the increase in breaking and entering incidents is largely connected to individuals with a drug addiction, often Oxycontin.
With a street price of $80 per 80-milligram pill, an Oxycontin addiction can quickly become expensive, as addicts take two or more tablets everyday, leading to property crime.
While the break-ins were especially concentrated last month, there were also seven incidents in January and nine in April.
Over the first nine months of 2010, there was 57 home breaking and entering calls.
The incidents have also been spread across the Town of Milton. Wells listed 33 streets that experienced break-ins of the 54 this year.
In a PowerPoint presentation, Wells, who was accompanied by Lt. Bill West and Deputy Chief Charles Paris, said the crimes can be connected to the struggling economy, increased drug addiction, the price of gold and other medals as well as the ease of selling stolen items.
Most if the Milton homes have been entered through windows and doors in the back or side of the home, according to West.
The crimes are also most common during the day. “It’s work hours,” said Paris. “They’re working while you’re working.”
The police emphasized that being vigilant, securing doors and windows and making your home appear occupied are the best ways to combat break-ins.
“If it looks like you’re there, they don’t want to deal with it,” said Wells.
Though the trend of break-ins continues, the Milton Police Department has had some success. Wells displayed photos of nine suspects who were charged in connection to Milton break-ins. The suspects ranged in age from 19 to 44, with representation from various ethnic groups. The suspects were also from various areas, from as close as Milton to as far away as Lynn.
West also spoke vaguely about “very active cases” he and the other detectives are following, and could result in further arrests.
Wells encouraged all residents who see something out of place in their neighborhood to call 911 or the Milton Police’s direct business line, 617-698-1212.