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Property Crime Investigators Team Up With Fayetteville Police To Solve Cases

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FAYETTEVILLE — Property crimes like burglary and vandalism can be some of the hardest cases to solve. Police in Fayetteville are doing something new to make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Larry Fuller's sense of ownership vanished in early January when someone stole money, a rifle and liquor out of his home.

"I feel violated," Fuller said. "I believe a person who has done that before will probably do it again, maybe to somebody else."

Fuller hopes for a quick arrest, which is a goal shared by a new Fayettevill Police program.

Instead of being handed cases at random, property crime investigators will now be assigned to burglaries in certain zones and will work as a team with police officers.

Capt. Tom Bergamine of the Fayetteville Police Department says although property crimes went down 3 percent last year, burglaries went up by 22 percent. The effort is designed to open the lines of communication, make connections between crimes and solve more cases.

"That zone, that particular area, is their responsibility and with that, you build a sense of ownership," Bergamine said.

Officer Robert Ramirez says he now has more face to face contact with an investigator.

"Whatever I hear from citizens, rumors, people I know on a first-name basis or on a street-name basis, may match whatever he heard from his (the investigator's) side." Ramirez said.

Police Chief Ron Hansen hopes the decentralization will also increase customer satisfaction, not just by solving more crimes, but by spending more time in the neighborhoods.