Alcona County experiences high volume of break-ins

HARRISVILLE – Of 57 calls about possible burglaries in Alcona County between May and August, 40 turned out to be breaking and entering cases, officials said Wednesday.

Two people have been arrested so far, said Alcona County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jim McGuire.

In 2012, a total of 94 break-ins were reported for the year, according to statistics kept by the department.

Eleven car break-ins also occurred along US-23 in Greenbush July 4-5, and one homeowner spotted youths running from one vehicle. But those cases have not been solved.

“We look for a pattern of entry or a pattern of area, and I’m just not seeing one,” said McGuire. “This tells me there are different people doing these.”

The break-ins and thefts have added substantially to the department’s workload this year. Sheriff Douglas Atchinson recently asked the Alcona County Commissioners for $15,000 to cover overtime for the rest of the year.

McGuire cited the area’s down economy, and said many items are money, jewelry, CDs and small items that can be pawned by thieves.

“We’re getting them in Lincoln, Greenbush, Hubbard Lake,” he said. “It’s the whole county that is getting hit.

“We do have a lot of cottages, and people come up and find they have been broken into in the winter or spring,” he said. “It’s really hard to tell when a lot were done.”

But other break-ins are more obvious.

“One home was broken into in Glennie in the middle of the day,” McGuire said. The incident occurred recently and the homeowner was only gone four hours.

To catch thieves, McGuire said residents, especially avid hunters, should utilize trail cams to monitor property.

“We’ve caught breaking and entering suspects because they have been videotaped on trail cams,” McGuire said.

He also suggested that people who are away for a while should put different lights on timers and leave a radio or television on.

“A lot of people will go up and knock on a strange door,” he said. “If they don’t hear anything inside they will go in.”