Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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January 27th, 2012

Farrell Concerned Over Rise In Burglaries

District Attorney Jim Farrell is worried about a recent spike in residential home burglaries in Sullivan County. According to Farrell burglaries are always a perennial problem, but recently the number of homes burglarized has increased dramatically.

According to crime statistics from the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sullivan County experienced approximately 433 burglaries in 2010. Those numbers are up nearly 19% through the third quarter in 2011 and expected to top 500 for the full year.

Farrell told me, “In the past, many of the burglaries have been burglaries to seasonal residences discovered when homeowners returned. Now we are seeing a trend where burglars are becoming more brazen and targeting year-round occupied residences stealing jewelry and valuable electronics. These homes are being targeted during the daytime hours when owners are gone at work. We believe in some instances burglars are watching people leave to ensure no one is home.”

“A home should be a sanctuary from outside influences and a place where a family should feel safe and secure,” Farrell emphasized.

Many homes burglarized have been targeted for the value of the copper piping that connects heating and plumbing systems. “Can you image coming home to find the copper pipe ripped out of your home prohibiting you from heating it and having to spend thousands of dollars to replace and repair the damage,” Farrell said.

While Farrell notes law enforcement is apprehending and prosecuting more burglars, he stresses the need for the public to help solve these crimes. “We need neighbors to look out for neighbors and to call the police if they see something out of the ordinary or suspicious. Far too often when the investigators and detectives look into these cases a neighbor did see something but did not do anything about it. We need folks to look out for each other and take note of information that is critical in finding the culprit such as a make and model of any vehicles and the plate number. Law enforcement’s most important asset in these cases is the observant citizen.”

Legislator Cora Edwards, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, discussing Farrell’s concerns said, “There is no question that we face challenging times with a spike in burglaries. As citizens, we can build on the success of our effective Neighborhood Watch programs by creating a strong network county-wide. Together, we can form a committed partnership between our professional public safety officers, legislators, and active citizens to achieve realistic goals to make Sullivan County safer and more secure. It may not be easy, but it is worth doing. The Public Safety Committee will be making an assessment to present for public comment and a commitment to implement a plan of action.”

Sullivan County, N.Y. Neighborhood Watch, one of the fastest growing local Facebook groups was recently formed with the intention of helping law enforcement bring crime under control through Community awareness, and determent.

Farrell says his office will continue to vigorously prosecute residential burglaries. “I and my staff are committed to treating the invasion of our homes seriously and we will continue to make sure these individuals are held accountable and responsible. Those who engage in this behavior should be aware that when caught they will go to prison.”

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