Wilmington Police Chief Joe Szarejko said there has also been a recent uptick in burglaries and larcenies in Wilmington.
“It’s not at epidemic levels, but enough to be a concern,” Szarejko said. “And we don’t want the trend to continue.”
Szarejko said unlocked homes and vehicles are an easy target for criminals, and the simplest precaution residents can take is to ensure their belongings are secured. “Lock your cars, don’t keep cash in vehicles, and lock your house,” Szarejko said.
Dover Police Chief Randy Johnson said the number of burglaries and larcenies has remained steady, but he echoed Szarejko in asking local residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it. “Even during the daytime,” Johnson said. “People may think these things don’t happen during the day, but they do.”
Szarejko said timely reporting of crime is essential. “If you’re the victim of a crime, report it immediately,” Szarejko says, “not two or three days later.”
Szarejko said there are ongoing investigations of suspects in several cases, and arrests may be imminent. The Wilmington Police Department is also creating a Facebook page through which people can pass along tips or report things they may see in their neighborhoods.
Szarejko said the increase in crime can be connected to the heroin epidemic in New England. “We have people living here, people you see everyday, who are dealers and users,” he said. “They’ll do what they need to do to get money to buy heroin. We’re not immune to it.”