Local News

Chapel Hill Authorities Warn Residents Of Burglary Increase

Posted June 2, 2006 10:04 a.m. EDT

— As break-ins go, Billy Royal is glad thieves went for his shed instead of his house. He thinks all they got was a chainsaw.

"You know, they're $200, $300," said Royal.

Chapel Hill has had about 150 residential burglaries this year. In two months, they have 71 reported break-ins. Thieves have taken things such as jewelry, silver, laptops, and money.

There's no pattern. They've happened during the day and night, and all through town. And sometimes, people were at home.

"We don't think it's just one person or one group of people," said Jane Cousins of Chapel Hill police. "Many of them are related, but it's probably several groups."

Royal was asleep around 4 a.m. Wednesday when his car alarm started blaring. The car's OK, but the chainsaw is probably lost for good. But he hasn't lost peace of mind. He feels secure.

"I don't think they'll be back," said Royal.

Of the 71 break-ins, police say they've had about 15 in the past week. To put the 150 break-ins so far this year into perspective, there were nearly 300 residential burglaries in all of 2005.