An uptick in daytime burglaries has Boston Police stepping up patrols and calling this week for increased vigilance from residents.
Captain Richard Sexton, who commands the Area C-11 district, told the Reporter that breaking-and-entering reports have been on the increase for three consecutive months.
"It isn't an off-the-charts increase, but it has been tracking upwards," said Sexton. "We are generally seeing them in the St. Mark's Area between Adams Street and Dorchester Ave. and also in Savin Hill."
In January, C-11 recorded 40 break-ins, up from 33 the month before and 26 in November 2008.
Most of the burglaries are happening during the day when homes are unoccupied, Sexton said. Some of the incidents have been reported at multi-unit dwellings, in which doors to common entry points are sometimes left unsecured. Sexton advises residents to double check that doors and windows are locked and to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
"Don't hesitate to call us," said Sexton. "There's nothing worse then when we hear from a neighbor, 'Oh, I did see a guy there, but I wasn't sure.'"
Sexton says that street robberies have slowed in recent weeks, down to 24 in January. Police stats show that there were 38 in December. Sexton said that police have been urging extra caution around T stations, especially for young people prone to using personal electronic devices that are popular with robbers.
"The targets are the phones, the IPhones and the Sidekicks," said Sexton. "We're telling people, 'Don't walk down the street talking on the phone.' Especially the kids."
Sexton said he has assigned extra patrols to the areas around Shawmut and Peabody Square in response to the uptick in break-ins around the St. Mark's Area in recent days. A specialized bicycle patrol - which was deployed last fall into the Neponset area - continues as well, despite the frosty weather.