In recent weeks, police have responded to several calls in the Coburg Road area regarding motorhome and recreational vehicle burglaries on Waverly Street, Willagillespie Road, Backlund Place, Debrick Road and Van Avenue.
Most recently, on October 18, police responded to the 2900 block of Van Avenue regarding a burglary suspect who had locked himself inside of a motorhome. Police contacted the suspect, Sean Michael Kinch, age 26, after he was observed in the vehicle by the owner, and arrested on a warrant.
Due to the increase in these cases, police want to make the public aware and remind people to always lock their vehicle and homes while they are away or unattended. In each incident, there was no information of forced entry and the suspect was able to enter the dwelling, and in multiple incidents, stayed inside the location for a period of days while consuming food and beverage items.
The following burglary prevention information can apply to all living arrangements, to include motorhomes and RVs:
1. Inspect your property while thinking like a criminal—where would it be easy to break in, without being seen by neighbors? If you want help with this inspection, call the Eugene police crime prevention unit at 541-682-5137 and ask for a free home security inspection. An officer will call you back and set an appointment.
2. Make improvements as necessary in terms of locks, lighting and landscaping.
a. All hinged exterior doors should be secured with deadbolt locks. Sliding doors and windows should be snug in their frames, with lift and slide protection features.
b. Exterior lighting should be even, eliminating pockets of shadow, and making it easy for neighbors to see prowlers in your yard. Motion detection lights can help expose intruders.
c. Landscaping should be trimmed to eliminate hiding places near entry points, such as doors and windows. Trim bushes to no more than three feet high, trim lower branches off of tall trees, and/or plant thorny plants that discourage trespassers.
3. Arrange mutual aid with your neighbors, keeping an eye on each other’s properties while you are gone. Let them know where you will be vacationing, how to reach you, and/or who you expect to be visiting or house-sitting in your absence. Consider getting formally organized as a Neighborhood Watch. If you can get your neighbors together on a weeknight for a meeting, the Eugene Police Crime Prevention Unit will provide a presenter to run the meeting.
4. Take photos, digital images or videotapes of your possessions, for ease of recovery and for insurance purposes.
5. Mark your property with your Oregon driver’s license or personal I.D. number: OR________DL, using an electronic engraver.
6. In addition to all of the above, alarm systems may be worth considering.