South Side Facing Increase In Burglaries - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

South Side Facing Increase In Burglaries

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By: Claire Powell


From November 4-18th, the Des Moines Police Department has received 148 burglary calls, over 50 of them came from the south side of Des Moines.

Police believe that a group of people are working together to steal small electronics like iPhones, iPads, lap tops and even cash.

"Even if there's only one or two breaking into a house, there's one or two more selling the merchandise, or what's been stolen," said Sergeant Jason Halifax, Des Moines Police Department. "Some of these burglaries were within a couple blocks of each other."

Bill Vertz, who lives on the south side, watched as two men pulled into his neighbors driveway.

"She never has company over…" said Vertz, "The first kid went to the door, he knew no one was going to answer. He went back to the truck and a big guy got out and went around back and I knew then that something was up."

Vertz called police who responded and took down the license plate number that he wrote down. 

Due to the increase, the Des Moines Police Department created a special burglary unit. Cops voluntarily switch to a detective unit that patrols the south side area and keeps it under surveillance.

"We can send the burglary detail to that side of town to start working those cases by surveillance, or if by investigation we get some names, they can focus on that individual or those individuals," said Sgt. Halifax.

Police say until arrests are made, there's no way to fully protect yourself from being burglarized. However, residents can rely on security systems, barking dogs and keeping their doors locked to deter burglars from entering. Sometimes, neighbors watching out for neighbors is the best option.

"I saw the vehicle there and knew it didn't belong there, so I kept an eye on them. Then I went out and confronted them. I knew they didn't belong in this neighborhood," said Vertz.

Police said the burglary unit has made some significant advances in their investigation and hope to have more details in the near future.


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