Danville police reported five break-ins and one failed burglary attempt over the New Year's weekend to start 2016, coming off 2015 when the town experienced an uptick in property crimes.
The six incidents took place at various locations across town, Danville police chief Steve Simpkins said Monday. He did not specify the neighborhoods affected or the items taken during the break-ins.
The police chief warned residents to be on the lookout for "door-kick" burglaries like some that occurred last weekend, where culprits go up to homes and knock on the door.
If a resident answers, the prospective burglars ask for something innocuous such as directions, but if no one is home, they kick in the door and quickly grab small valuables that can be easily transported, Simpkins said.
Understanding how home burglaries happen can help residents determine when to call police, he added.
"It is increasingly important for residents to keep their eyes open in their neighborhoods. Work together, watch out for one another, and if you see something that seems out of place, contact us immediately," Simpkins said.
"We have had residents tell us they were hesitant to call because they weren't sure whether they were seeing something criminal," the police chief added. "We would rather you call. If you see something, say something. We would rather get the call and check it out than take the chance of letting the bad guys get away."
Urging residents to report suspicious behavior is among several strategies the police department is using to increase their efforts to curtail the uptick in property crimes seen in 2015, according to Simpkins.
"This level of property crime will not be tolerated," he said. "We will be doing everything we can to catch these criminals and bring this situation to an end."
The department has added patrols during peak periods for crimes, and some officers have been temporarily reassigned to work solely on property crimes, Simpkins said.
Danville police are also exploring hi-tech solutions such as license plate recognition cameras, he added.
Residents can partner with police in their home protection by registering their home camera systems with the department, Simpkins said, noting that the failed break-in attempt last weekend was foiled by a homeowner's alarm system.
The police chief also said that residents can form neighborhood watch groups, and when going out of town, residents can request that police conduct vacation home checks.
For more information on crime prevention tips, visit the department website.