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Neighborhood watch groups learn about crimes in Marana

Posted: Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Officer Lori Sheppard talks to a group of neighborhood watch volunteers Wednesday night at the Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library. There were representatives of all the neighborhoods in Marana.

MARANA Representatives from neighborhood watch groups from all over Marana met Wednesday night at Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library to get a run down on the latest crime statistics, especially crimes in their areas.

With the help of Crime Analyst Janice Moser, the first five months of 2011 were compared to the first five of 2012. The numbers showed a big drop in crime overall from 2011 to 2012. The only increase was in auto thefts.

Moser credits a new program under Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema that brings together patrol activities to match the area of major crime in time of day and frequency. She meets with Patrol Operations Supervisors every other week. Together with the chief, the group puts an action plan together that targets crime.

The neighborhood watch members were impressed with the crime statistics and the way the department is responding to crime in their areas. Maps with quarter mile squares showed how many and what types of crimes were investigated.

Two troubling areas to Moser were the jump in auto thefts and no force entry burglaries. She said the auto thefts were of older cars. Mainly late 1990s and early 2000s cars are being stolen.

The burglaries came down to two types; no force or criminals entering a house without breaking a window to door because they were left open, and forced entry where the criminal actually broke in. The numbers are surprising. There were 57 no force burglaries over the past 17 months and 52 forced entry burglaries. So she stressed that we can all stop crime by simply locking doors and making sure that windows are latched.

Officer Lori Sheppard organized the meeting. She coordinates both the Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) and the neighborhood watch program for Marana Police. Sheppard stressed the need for observance in communities and getting over the fear of calling 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity even if you dont know what is actually going on.

More meetings will take place as Sheppard continues to build a solid relationship between the Police Department and all of the neighborhood watch groups.

For the complete article see the 06-06-2012 issue.

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