As people in one Danville neighborhood report a rise in crimes like thefts and break-ins, neighbors gathered at a seminar to learn how to protect themselves and their homes and businesses from criminals.
“We’ve had a few instances of theft and people breaking into cars and those kind of things,” said Fran Baughman, who serves as chair for Friends of the Old West End.
Baughman said with an uptick in crime in the Old West End neighborhood, this is the first time her group has organized a class like this one.
“We had seen a decrease in crime over the last several years, but there seems to be in recent months a little bit of an increase, and so we’re just trying to get ahead of it,” she said.
Retired police chief Michael Jones teaches these kids of seminars, showing others how to prevent themselves, their homes and their businesses from becoming a target.
“Most criminals are lazy, so if you use the environment in a proper way, you could have a very safe and appealing piece of property without having to confront criminals,” Jones said.
According to the Danville Police Department, thanks to crime mapping and selective enforcement patrols, crimes like burglaries and larcenies are down citywide. But with more than 260 burglaries last year, police encourage people to be proactive.
“Having your home well lit, making sure doors are locked, making sure that points of entry are cleared of shrubs and can be seen by neighbors,” said Maj. Chris Wiles.
“Go outside,” Jones said. “Look at your home or your business with the eyes of a criminal. Look at it during the early morning. Look at it at night with your lights on.”