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Jed Boal reportingA West Valley businessman is exasperated by a crime problem that plagues many communities. Criminals targeted his business nine times in three years.
It is a business district in West Valley that's not well lit and is abandoned at night. The crime victim insists something has to change. The police agree.
James Gault feels like a burglar's target. Since he moved his shelving and U-Haul business to the West Valley location three years ago, he's had nine cases of burglary or vandalism.
"I'm just looking for the police to make some recommendations how we can slow this down," he said.
The worst was a year ago. Thieves plowed a truck through a garage door.
"Forcefully came through the office and meticulously opened up every drawer and searched the office for anything of value they could take," he explained.
They swiped tools and computers. Most recently, someone walked in and took off with a laptop. Gault talked with police today.
"Are they understaffed, are they underfunded? What could we do to help them out?" he asked.
The West Valley Police Department agrees the business has been targeted far too frequently and wants to get a handle on it.
Captain Tom McLachlan said, "We'll develop a strategy to assist this property owner to reduce his particular problem."
In general, police recommend lighting, alarm systems, surveillance cameras and fences. A new Community Service Officer Unit that gathers intelligence on community crime will focus on persistent crime problems.
"When you have spikes in areas, I think they can have a major impact," McLachlan said.
Police say crime in the area is consistent. They won't eliminate it all but can work with people for better strategies.