Sep 15, 2015 10:55 PM

Dover police warn residents to lock cars, homes after huge jump in reported thefts

DOVER - Police in the Garrison City took to social media Tuesday, urging residents to lock their cars and homes, after an official noticed a 40 percent increase in reported theft crimes this year.

There were 63 reported thefts in Dover during the month of August. A total of 333 thefts have been reported so far in 2015.

If both the cities of Dover and Rochester use the same definitions for theft crimes, that would mean Dover had more reported thefts last month than the Lilac City.

Rochester police officials told NH1 News Tuesday that they had 58 reported thefts in August. Their year-to-date number is dramatically down from last year. It is at 434.

In 2014, Rochester had 769 reported thefts by August. In the month of August alone, 127 thefts were reported.

Officials there say an increased effort, and sophisticated investigation tools have lead to the decrease in crime.

Lt. Brant Dolleman of the Dover Police Department urged residents to keep reporting on suspicious activity.

"Nobody has the right to take your property, and nobody has the right to steal anything, regardless of how that property is situated, or left, or what have you," Dolleman told NH1.

Dolleman said police have seen substance abusers perpetrate theft crimes "time and time again" as they become more dependent on drugs and alcohol.

Dolleman offered common sense solutions, so nobody becomes the victim of a crime of opportunity.

"You greatly reduce the chances of being a victim in Dover, and for that matter, the rest of New Hampshire, if you leave your vehicle's doors locked when you leave your car," Dolleman said.

People should also make sure GPS devices, cell phones, shopping bags, wallets and purses are not in plain view inside their vehicles.

Dolleman said the best thing people can do for home safety is lock their doors when they are not around.

"The other big suggestion we would have is exterior lighting at night. Motion sensitive lights are helpful, too," Dolleman said.

Residents can reach the police department in Dover by calling 742-4646.

You can follow Kimberley Haas on Twitter @KHaasNH1.


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