Burglaries over winter break increase 45 percent from last year

Burglaries increase over winter break by 45 percent

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Every year Columbia police keep track of the number of burglaries that happen over winter break.  This year, that number was up 45 percent.

CPD released the statistics Wednesday showing 96 burglaries happened between Dec. 14 through Jan. 20. 

That's up from 2012, when police recorded 66 burglaries.

Of that 96, 75 happened in someone's home, 15 occurred in a business, and six were listed only as "other".

ABC 17 News reached out to police today to find out how many suspects they are looking for, and how many burglaries could be connected, but they couldn't tell us an answer for either question.

A map released by police showed several areas where burglaries were concentrated are student housing complexes.  ABC 17 News went to those areas to talk to students whose homes were broken into over break.

Adam Byington, whose window screen was cut while he was gone, said, "They knew we weren't going to be here. That's why they tried to break in."

The burglar didn't get far, however.  His window was locked so the burglar stopped there.

But other students weren't so lucky.

Caitlin Smith lives in a house separated into three apartments.  While she was gone on break, all three were broken into.

"They kicked in the basement window and robbed the downstairs apartment.  Then they kicked in my door and the apartment door upstairs," Smith said.

Mike Andrade had a similar story.

"When we got back from break, we saw they cut the screen and broke in through the window," he said. "I looked in my roommate's room and his safe was busted open on his bed."

Andrade and Smith had similar things stolen -- money, but not computers inside.

Andrade said the police linked some of the robberies together.

"He said there had been about ten burglaries that day alone," Andrade said. "The officer told us it was the same method of entry and exit so it was probably the same guy who did a streak of burglaries."

Smith said after this break in, and the several others that have been happening around student housing neighborhoods over the past several month have caused her to think about moving out.

"I'm not going to live here again," she said.

The amount of burglaries is the highest it's been in the last five years, with the next highest being 74 in 2012.

Although the amount of burglaries over break is increased, the overall number of burglaries around Columbia was down by about 10 percent in 2013, with a total number of 692.

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