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February 01, 2011 8:25 am

EDITORIAL: Controlling crime with common sense

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Powell prides itself on being a safe community — the kind where kids can ride their bikes freely around town and neighbors look out for one another.

Contrary to a popular local belief, however, Powell is not a place where it’s OK to leave your front door unlocked or the keys in your vehicle.

In 2010, more than $80,000 worth of items were stolen in Powell.

Powell Police Chief Tim Feathers said most of those crimes were preventable.

For example, local home burglaries overwhelmingly occur when a house is left unlocked, making it quite easy for someone to slip into an unsecured residence, even in broad daylight.

Of the home burglaries that occurred in Powell last year, 87.5 percent happened without forced entry. That means in nearly every case — 15 out of the 17 home burglaries in Powell last year — the burglar entered an unlocked home or garage with little effort. Roughly half of the burglaries in 2010 occurred in daylight while residents were at work or school and their doors were left unlocked.

“We could make a huge dent on the overall crime rate in Powell just by very easy security measures — just by not leaving property out where it’s vulnerable,” said Feathers.

In the past decade, Powell’s crime rate has remained fairly steady. By neglecting to take preventive measures to reduce crime, the community is, in a sense, saying it will tolerate a certain amount of property crime.

We agree with Chief Feathers that Powell residents can — and must — do better.

Taking the simple steps of securing your home by locking doors and windows can help keep burglars at bay and reduce our crime rate.

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