By Joe Barker

Missourian Staff Writer

Washington Police Chief Ed Menefee is reminding residents to be vigilant.

Earlier this year Menefee said stealing crimes are on the rise. He said the increase was likely tied to drug abuse with addicts stealing goods in order to get more drugs.

Recently Washington police have been investigating some burglaries around town.

“Word needs to go out to people in subdivisions to lock their doors,” Menefee said. “If you notice people hanging around your neighbor’s house that you don’t recognize, call it in. If you see somebody walking up and down the street you’re not familiar with, call it in.”

The extra vigilance could help police solve the cases. Menefee said the thieves aren’t creeping around at night and breaking in.

“The last few have been daylight burglaries, so people may have seen something,” he said.

Menefee said the burglars aren’t going after big ticket items. He said people aren’t coming home to empty houses, but rather just a few small things missing.

“They go in and grab stuff they can carry,” he said. “They don’t take TVs or stuff like that. It’s jewelry. It’s things they can carry in a backpack.”

Police are checking pawn shops both locally and around the region searching for any of the missing goods.

The police department’s tip line is 636-390-1050.