Dayton Police warn about holiday season attracting criminals

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Usually the holidays are a time for giving, but for some, it’s a time for taking.

The Dayton Police Department warns this time of year the Miami Valley sees an uptick in robberies and thefts.

“It’s like window shopping for a thief,” said Sgt. Matt Beavers with the Dayton Police Department east unit.

Since the beginning of September, Dayton Police have been called out to 506 residential robberies. Sgt. Beavers has been a target himself.

“It’s disheartening. I personally just had about $20,000 worth of stuff stolen about two weeks ago,” he said.

Beavers says the majority of it are crimes of opportunity. People who leave things in their cars or their cars running and unlocked. The department reports things were taken from 340 cars since September.

There is a way you can track your items if they’re stolen by writing your contact information on them with an ultraviolet pen. The pens can be found at some area stores and typically sell for around $5.

“You write your name and contact number, or driver license number, never use your social security number. In case there was something to get stolen, the pawn shops know to look for that,” said Sgt. Beavers.

A hidden way to get a hold of you if your stuff is found and possibly put the person who stole it behind bars.

“That leads us to arrests for receiving stolen property or for the actual theft, burglary, B&E or whatever it was,” he said.

Another tip to stay safe is making sure after the holidays when you throw your gift boxes away people can’t see them in the trash or on your curb. Beavers says visible boxes can make your home a target and suggests burning or breaking them down.Armed robberies and other stats Dayton-wide to date:

  • Armed robberies in 2016 – 310
  • Armed robberies in 2015 – 283
  • Residential burglaries in 2016 – 1,513
  • Residential burglaries in 2015 -1,519
  • Thefts from cars in 2016 – 1,264
  • Thefts from cars in 2015 – 1,087
  • Car thefts in 2016 – 693
  • Car thefts in 2015 – 685

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