A coordinated approach to an increase in burglaries during the holidays in Oxford will return thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods to Miami University students and local residents.
While students are out of town, their off-campus residences are often targets for thieves. This year, Oxford and Miami police departments (OPD and MUPD) shared plans and tactics, conducted joint roll calls at the start of many shifts and utilized a shared radio channel to more actively prevent break-ins and safeguard property through a well coordinated approach.
The effort paid off: From Dec. 23 to 28, officers from both departments were able to catch and arrest 10 suspects at or near the scenes of recent break-ins, and to recover electronics and other goods stolen from homes.
“We have performed vacation house checks for years, meaning we systematically patrol areas/residences when we know people are out of town,” said interim Oxford Police Chief Bob Holzworth. “But we can’t be in all places at once. Combining forces during a high break-in time allows us to save residents a lot of grief and sends a powerful message to would-be burglars: There is a high probability you will be caught.”
- On Friday, Dec. 23, at about 12:38 a.m., officers from both agencies working a surveillance detail in the south section of Oxford observed subjects steal a concrete lion decoration. Charges against the juvenile offenders are theft and complicity to theft.
- On Saturday, Dec. 24, at about 12:06 a.m., a phone call from a resident at the Miami Village Apartments brought police to the apartment complex on E. Chestnut Street. The resident heard a loud banging noise and then saw three male individuals running. Oxford police found the three subjects hiding behind a nearby SUV. Police determined that the SUV belonged to the suspects, and inside it found approximately 100 DVD movies, video games, and a TV. The three subjects were arrested on burglary and complicity to burglary charges.
- On Tuesday, Dec. 27, at about 7:26 p.m., a joint police team responded to a reported burglary in progress on S. Beech St. and observed four subjects running from the residence. Police quickly detained two female juvenile suspects, and then located two male suspects after a prolonged search of the surrounding area.
- On Wednesday, Dec. 28, at about 2 a.m., officers were dispatched to the 5000 block of College Corner Pike to investigate unwanted subjects in the area. After investigation, one subject was arrested and charged with attempted burglary and criminal mischief.
“With half of our students living off campus, this coordinated effort has allowed Miami to further support their safety,” said John McCandless, chief of the MUPD.
“This is just a great example of how interagency cooperation is a force multiplier that can benefit the entire community,” said Holzworth. Both agencies are committed to continuing and broadening this approach in 2012.