Burglaries in Clovis up 18 percent

Benna Sayyed

Burglaries in Clovis increased 18 percent from 2010 to 2011 but the Clovis Police Department is working hard to curb these crimes, according to Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders.

Clovis police had a 12 percent clearance rate on burglaries in 2011.

“That’s an awesome rate of clearance for burglaries. It takes people willing to step forward and give us information,” Sanders said.

“We’re trying to make people aware through community education and crime prevention. We’ve been working hard with neighborhood groups to try to create neighborhood watches.”

Sanders said 14 individuals were arrested for 100 burglaries in 2011. He said a couple of the suspects had been arrested two or three times for burglary. He said eight of these arrests were on-view arrests in which the suspects were caught on foot with stolen goods in their possession.

The state of New Mexico classifies all burglaries — residence, vehicle and business — as the same crime. Sanders was unable to say exactly how many of these burglaries were commercial, residential or from a vehicle but said many recent cases involved automobiles with unlocked doors.

Items commonly swiped during burglaries include electronics such as iPods, GPS systems, wallets, purses, auto stereo systems, firearms, jewelry and video games.

Sanders said calls for service to the police department were up by three percent in 2011.

“That’s telling me that people are calling more often. We’re getting a chance to get out there and look at suspicious activity before it turns into criminal activity. I give credit to the public for calling,” Sanders said.

Coli D. Hunt, one to owners of Joe’s Boot Shop, said the biggest part of getting his business back to normal after his store was burglarized twice in the past five weeks was cleaning up broken glass.

He said the burglaries cost him $1,200 in glass repair and an estimated $1,500 worth of perfume, cologne and jewelry.

“You get mad. You don’t know who it is and you would give anything to know who they were,” said Hunt. “Have they been in here before? Did I give them the respect of a paying customer before and now they do this. You think about them kind of things.”

McDonald’s owner John Snowberger said each of the two burglaries at his Mabry location cost him approximately $1,000.

“I feel sorry for somebody who was that desperate to break in and risk going to jail for less than 50 dollars,” Snowberger said.

“When people are desperate they’re going to take desperate measures. It’s just a sad thing.”

Clovis police have arrested and charged suspects in both the Joe’s Boot Shop and McDonald’s burglaries.

Sanders offered the following tips to combat theft: