FELLSMERE — Burglaries and thefts are down in the City of Fellsmere, officials have said, but that doesn’t mean residents should not lock up their vehicles and stow their valuables.
“It’s really important,” Police Chief Scott Melanson said for people to remember to secure their belongings.
Thefts during the first six months of the year are down nearly 22 percent over the same time period last year. Burglaries are down 25 percent for the same timeframe.
“It’s really hard to say” why the crimes are down, Chief Melanson said, speculating it could be for a combination of reasons. Those reasons include fewer people in the city due to the migratory nature of many residents’ jobs and increases in arrests of those believed to be involved in multiple thefts and burglaries.
Nearly all the vehicle burglaries and thefts this year were due to drivers failing to lock their doors or roll up their windows, the police chief said.
Only one, which occurred at the Treasure Coast Community Health, happened to a vehicle that was secured. However, the vehicle’s owner had left her purse out in plain view. The burglar broke a window to snatch the purse.
Along with purses and wallets, Chief Melanson recommends drivers who use navigational devices stow the device and its bracket to lessen the temptation for thieves to break in.
He explained that even if drivers take their navigational devices with them when they exit their vehicles, thieves see the brackets and think the devices are hidden somewhere within the vehicles.
Unsecured vehicle thefts are some of the more challenging crimes for the police to solve, Chief Melanson said, because thieves tend to not leave behind much evidence if all they have to do is reach through an open window or open a vehicle door.
“It’s difficult to solve that kind of crime,” Chief Melanson said.
Along with securing vehicles, the police chief said residents need to keep a log of their valuables inside their home to increase their chances of recovering any items that might get stolen.
Chief Melanson also recommends residents get to know their neighbors and keep watch over their street.
“We certainly can’t be everywhere at once,” the police chief said, explaining that extra eyes watching out for suspicious activity could give officers the head start they need to catch would-be thieves.
Residents are encouraged to call the Fellsmere Police Department if they suspect something isn’t right.
“We’re here to check that out,” Chief Melanson said.