Chief urges vigilance after spate of burglaries

An uptick in home burglaries around the village in recent weeks has prompted the Hinsdale Police Department to put out additional patrols while advising residents to take measures to help deter would-be criminals.

Police reported that a residence was forcibly entered Sept. 21 in the 300 block of Fuller Road and watches and jewelry were taken. That case was followed by similar incidents on Oct. 16 in the 200 block of East Hickory Street, in which dressers and a closet was ransacked, and Oct. 26 in the 600 block of Phillippa Street. An attempted burglary on Oct. 14 in the 100 block of South Oak Street resulted in damage to the front door but no actual entry.

Hinsdale Police Chief Brian King said investigators think the crimes are part of a larger pattern that bear commonalities.

“We believe our burglaries are related to nearly a dozen others in the southeast part of DuPage County,” King said. “These burglaries all occurred at or near dusk, a pry bar was used to exert force on the front doors and each of the homes was obviously unoccupied at the time.”

He said residents with house alarms should activate them when out and leave lights on to give the impression that the home is occupied.

“We suggest people make their house look lived in by putting their lights on at times they’re away,” he said.

The department has increased its presence in neighborhoods during the evening hours, according to King, who encouraged residents to immediately contact the police if they observe suspicious people or vehicles.

Contrastingly, vehicle theft incidents in town have dropped in the last year, King said.

“This is a non-sophisticated crime in which offenders attempt to find unlocked cars that have the key fobs inside,” he explained.

But the reported theft of a Bentley from a driveway in the 200 block of East Eighth Street during the overnight hours of Oct. 26-27, King related, should serve as a warning to residents not to become complacent.

“It was unlocked with the keys inside,” he said. “Those types of thefts tend to build on themselves if there’s an easy score.”

Nearby communities are experiencing a higher rate of thefts, King reported.

“Hinsdale is affected by regional crime patterns. We’re a low-crime community, we’re not a no-crime community,” he said. “We don’t want residents to be paranoid, but we want them to be well-informed about what’s going on.”

Criminals are also targeting local businesses. The afternoon of Oct. 20, offenders attempted to steal a vehicle from Hinsdale Land Rover, 336 E. Ogden Ave., according to police, after arriving in a vehicle stolen out of Chicago. Unable to open the shop door, they fled and subsequently attempted a carjacking in Oak Brook.

“They are looking for easy access to cars that have been left for service,” King said.

At 5:26 p.m. Oct. 21, two male suspects entered Marcus, 101 S. Washington St., and made off with several pieces of high-end merchandise.

“It’s an unusual case for the village, but the case suggests that they are among a group of individuals responsible for a series of thefts in Chicago and surrounding areas,” King said.