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Rash of burglaries concerns islanders

by Michele Catahay

For the past several months, the Guam Police Department has been responding to quite a number of burglaries on island. It's an issue that has residents concerned. Some have taken active approaches to ensure their homes are safe.

Dededo resident Nemesio Dizon says the recent burglaries are a cause for concern for this small, tight-knit community. Because of the latest reports, Dizon says he's had to put up a fence at his home and even has three dogs to help secure his property. Dizon has been living in his neighborhood for over 20 years now, and the good part about it is that everyone watches out for one another.

"I think we should in a neighborhood, we should actually watch out for each other like being vigilant about what happens in the area," he said.  "Make sure you know your neighbor so that in a way, they can help you protect your property at the same time. If you see someone intruding into another property, make sure you do something about it and not just keep a blind eye."

In the last three months, GPD has recorded more 250 burglaries.  105 were reported in the month of September, 115 last month and already in the first two weeks of November GPD has already responded to more than two dozen burglary complaints.  Guam Police Department Spokesperson Officer Allan Guzman says police believe the rise in burglaries can be attributed to the increasing drug problem.

Police warn residents to be cautious and report any suspicious activities as the department expects to see an increase in criminal activities with the holiday season approaching.  "The common norm that I'm starting to see," Guzman said, "is basically a lot of people are using the storm shutters and locking up their house, you're actually making yourself more or less like a prisoner. But basically just go around and do a common check of your residents."

While Dizon has taken active steps to ensure his home is secured, he does say he hopes to see more police officers patrolling the neighborhoods.  "Well, we need the police visibility before I used to see police cars roam around this area, but now I hardly see that unless something happens, that's the only time that they come," he said.

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