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Break-ins on the Rise in Downtown Chapel Hill

Posted February 23, 2008

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— A string of recent break-ins in downtown Chapel Hill has some business owners on edge.

Katrina Ryan said someone broke into her Sugarland bakery through the front window.

“We were broken into the fourth day we were open,” she said.

P.T.'s Olde Fashioned Grille on the corner of Rosemary and Henderson streets was broken into twice over the last few weeks. Each time, all that was stolen were stamps and loose change.

“He (the burglar) did have the opportunity to take much more. Wine, Red Bull, tools and all that we have here,” restaurant owner Ryan Scarano said.

Ryan said nothing at all was stolen from her Franklin Street bakery.

Chapel Hill Council Member Bill Thorpe said the only way to cut down on break-ins is to toughen sentences.

“Don't sit there and give them community service, a slap on the hand. Make sure they are punished,” he said.

Ryan said she would like to see more street lights in downtown Chapel Hill to help deter crime. Thorpe said he believes extra light would not stop these crimes from happening.

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  • Common Sense Man Feb 25, 2008

    "Why not post more police officers downtown, install cameras, have more routine officer checks at night and early morning hours? How can you have tougher sentences when you haven't caught the perpetrators?"

    The cops can't be everywhere at once. A lot of people are caught for break-ins in Orange County. There are more than a few on the street right now with over 20 felony property crime convictions. They keep breaking into the same houses in the same neighborhoods. If I were a victim I would be UPSET at how the justice system has failed Orange County residents.

  • Harrison Bergeron Feb 25, 2008

    What, the flowers, hugs and rainbows aren't deterring crime? Say it isn't so!

    Perhaps, they just need to be more understanding of the poor criminals and open up their wallets a little more. That will fix things.

  • abagaylesbooks Feb 25, 2008

    Tougher sentences alone is not the full solution. Why wait until after the fact causing the store owners money? One break-in sometimes adds up in repairs to two weeks earnings to a store owner. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why not post more police officers downtown, install cameras, have more routine officer checks at night and early morning hours? How can you have tougher sentences when you haven't caught the perpetrators?