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Grosse Pointe Shores

Shores police investigate vacation B&E

January 12, 2013

At press time, police were investigating a break-in at a house on Regal that took place while the residents were out of town.

Public Safety Director John Schulte said the incident took place sometime between 6 p.m. Jan. 2 — when the residents left — and Jan. 5, when it was detected and reported. The suspect or suspects removed a glass panel on the rear door to gain access to the home, he said. It was not known at press time what was taken, but Schulte said, “It was a very minimal loss, as far as we know.”

Police canvassed the neighbors to see if anyone might have seen something, and Schulte said one of the residents has a video of the street that might be helpful.

While police continue their investigation, Schulte said they’re preparing a reminder list of steps that residents who’ll be gone for extended periods can take; that will be posted on the city’s website and cable channel.

He said the city is asking residents who are leaving for a vacation or a winter home to contact the Public Safety Department and let them know they’ll be gone. Police also need a contact person in case something happens, he said. Residents are asked to either stop mail and newspaper delivery or make sure someone can pick up those items daily. They should use programmable interior and exterior lights, and with interior lights in particular, they should change the times they go on and off each day to “make the home look as occupied as possible,” Schulte said. Residents should have a friend or relative check on their home regularly, as well.

“The most important thing is that it’s checked,” Schulte said.

Residents who have alarms should make sure those are set before they leave, too, and reasonably priced video surveillance equipment is available for those who want to take that extra precaution. Schulte said residents who are having trouble setting their alarm systems should contact their alarm company, and the Public Safety Department is willing to help, as well, if they’re able.

Anyone who’s going to be leaving town should call the Public Safety Department at (313) 881-5500 and ask the dispatcher that they be transferred to the Shores supervisor. Schulte said the department keeps a list of all vacant properties in the city, so that officers can pay particular attention to those.

As for neighbors who are in town, Schulte asks that they call promptly if they see anything out of character in their neighborhood, whether it’s an unfamiliar car or person, or someone knocking on doors. They should call (313) 881-5500 and tell the dispatcher about the suspicious activity so that police can look into it right away.

“We don’t consider (a call about) a suspicious person or vehicle a nuisance,” Schulte said. “That information is critical to us. If something doesn’t look right, we want to identify (the person or vehicle) immediately.”

Police are hoping that a shoe print found on the Regal house glass door panel might match prints left at similar crime scenes, Schulte said.

“We take these incidents very seriously,” he said. “We’ve been very lucky this past year that we haven’t had more home invasions. I give a lot of credit for that to our residents, who report suspicious people and vehicles to us.”

Anyone with more information about the Regal break-in can also call the Public Safety Department.

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