Thieves strike across county

Several homes in the Rocky Hill area in Dennard apparently have been burglarized recently.

Items taken include furniture, tools, a generator and a bicycle, according to callers to the Democrat.

The Van Buren County sheriff’s office said it had nothing in its database about burglaries in the area. Some of the victims said they did not notify the sheriff’s office of their losses.

Another target for thieves appears to be the Alread area. The sheriff’s office recently released a statement about several burglaries in the area. The statement said some stolen items had been seen for sale online. Investigators have recovered about $18,000 in stolen property, the sheriff’s office said.

There have also been some thefts in the Formosa area, and a caller told the Democrat a garden tiller is missing.

Anyone who is a victim of a theft should notify the appropriate police agency. If thefts are not reported, victims are not likely to get their items back.

Some folks in the county are now depending on security devices linked to their cell phones to protect their homes from thieves. In a recent burglary, the victim was able to notify deputies of a theft occurring at his Formosa home after seeing the crime in progress on his cell phone. A suspect has been charged in that case.

Security experts also caution that users of Facebook, Twitter and other social media should think twice before posting vacation plans. Thieves find the vacation details, including when a family is leaving and returning, quite handy in planning burglaries.

Just as you wouldn’t leave a message on an answering machine stating that you’re away on vacation for the week, don’t spread the news around on social media either, experts say.