By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
With the holidays almost here, Fairmont residents are being asked to remain vigilant as the pattern of residential burglaries continues on the city’s West Side.
According to Fairmont police, break-ins are taking place particularly around Fairmont Senior High School between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The forceful burglaries involve an unidentified male or males who are forcibly entering homes by kicking in doors or windows. They are taking high-value small items that can be easily carried from the scene.
Because there are no definite descriptions, police are urging residents to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhood immediately to 911 or city police at 304-366-4200.
Suspicious activity includes seeing someone you’ve never seen before in your neighborhood; someone unfamiliar who is in a neighbor’s yard or at the door; someone wearing a backpack or carrying a duffel bag; or a car that drives by slowly several times.
The same patterns as before are continued, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Residences are unoccupied at the time of the break-ins. None has a home security system. Several times, next-door neighbors have been home but not reported seeing anything suspicious.
Undercover officers and extra squad patrols continue to monitor neighborhoods.
Local officials say home security systems and cameras placed inside the home offer extra protection.
They also recommend protecting valuables by keeping their serial numbers on file in a computer or having initials engraved on them. Expensive jewelry and other valuables are best kept in a safe deposit box at the bank. If you must keep them at home, police advise to invest in a heavy-duty home safe, one strong enough to take several people and time and equipment to open.
Photographing valuables makes them easier to identify.
Residents are asked to not approach anyone acting suspiciously, but to obtain a detailed description of what they see, where the suspect may be going and try to keep an eye on the suspicious activity until police arrive on scene.
Fairmont police believe the suspect or suspects are on foot.
Anonymous tips may be called to 911 or the Fairmont Police Department at 304-366-4200, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Debra Minor Wilson at email@example.com.