Recent Burglaries Remind People To Mark Items

By Chris Earl, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Even as Cedar Rapids police report the fewest January-to-April burglaries in the city in four years, a busy Wednesday serves as a reminder for people to keep records of valuable items, especially electronics.

On Wednesday, police in Cedar Rapids and Marion recorded at least six burglary or home invasion calls throughout many different parts of the metro area.

One homeowner on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids said he experienced two different break-ins, on consecutive days.

"I got home from work on Tuesday and noticed a couple of things in the house not quite right and I noticed a door was ajar," said the man, who asked that his name nor identity be revealed as police have not announced any arrests in the incidents. "I walked around and found some electronics missing."

The man said his iPad and a Nook reader were gone on Tuesday. It was his experience on Wednesday that left the man and his young family even more rattled.

"I was going to buy this security door for our back door and came back and all of the doors were open to the house," he said. The man said a 42" television was stolen as well as a video camera.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin of the Cedar Rapids Police Department reported a total of 193 burglaries in Cedar Rapids from January 1 to April 11 of this year. This is the lowest number of burglaries over the last four years of data.

Hamblin said burglars will often look for an open garage door or knock on the front door to check if anyone is home.

Police add that people should record serial numbers for expensive electronics that are often targeted.

Juan Alvarez, from Siegel's in Cedar Rapids, has seen all sorts of items pass through his store.

"Everything that we do take it, we get serial numbers on," said Alvarez. He said the store turns serial number information into police on a weekly basis to check for any items that may be reported stolen or missing.

"It is one safeguard you can do for yourself because how many iPods, how many TVs are out there and how can you identify those unless you have the serial numbers?" said Alvarez.

Even as burglary numbers may not be on the rise in Cedar Rapids, when it happens to someone, the experience remains fresh.

"The items can be replaced but the sense of security," said the burglary victim, "when you have a family and seeing how much your spouse and your kids are upset, it breaks your heart."
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