West Valley City wants residents to keep eye out for daytime burglars

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Communities across the country will rally around their crime fighters this week as part of the National Night Out Against Crime.

Night Out Against Crime kicked off Monday night in West Valley City with a month-long program. About 1,200 people were there. Police say they need our vigilance to help with a growing trend in burglaries--daytime break-ins.

West Valley City wants to expand its united front against crime, and it all starts with Neighborhood Nights at the Cultural Celebration Center.

Gathering with police will help forge friendships among neighbors and develop more ears and eyes to scope out crime.

Winonia Ward, with the Neighborhood Watch Association, said, "The more that people are involved, that you get to know what's going on. You get to know what West Valley is doing, and doing for you."

City leaders hope people will come out to events and meet their neighbors and the people who serve them.

Aaron Crim, director of PR for West Valley City, said "We really feel there's a value in neighbors knowing one another, working with the police department, and really being aware of their surroundings and being the first line of defense"

Several months ago, West Valley police recorded 120 burglaries in a 5-week period, most of them daytime crimes. The burglars scouted neighborhoods looking for piled up newspapers and mail. They'd knock on the front door to make sure no one was home, then bust in a rear door or window.

West Valley City police Capt. Tom McLachlan, said, "Every city has daytime burglary rates that seem to be escalating somewhat."

Police arrested three people for those crimes, but they need everyone to stay alert for that kind of suspicious activity during the day.

Resident Karla Matheson said, "There's so many people who work nowadays. It worries me that when I'm at work, somebody will come in and steal everything I've worked for. It's probably the biggest thing I worry about."

The kickoff Monday night also focused on safety tips and how to recognize drug activity. There are more upcoming events in West Valley City.

Other communities will hold similar gatherings Tuesday.

Salt Lake City
Residents will be asked to turn on their outside lights and hold front porch vigils during Night Out Against Crime. Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department - including specialty units like SWAT, K-9, Gang Unit and Bike Patrol - will attend a variety of community events, including parades, block parties and cookouts. Residents are invited to meet them at the following locations and times: - 1409 E. Butler Ave., 6:30-8:30 p.m.

  • 1033 S. Lake St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • 1100 N. 2200 W., 5-8:30 p.m.
  • Briarcliff Ave. and Grenoble St., 5-8 p.m.
  • 1313 W. California Ave., 5:30-9 p.m.
  • 1185 S. Windsor St. 7-9 p.m.
  • 2200 E. Roosevelt Ave., 7-8:30

The Draper Police Department is hosting an annual police-community event called Draper Safety Day / National Night Out Against Crime. The event will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the Draper City Park (1300 East 12400 South). This event is FREE and all ages are invited to see the displays and learn how to keep their families safe.

West Valley City
Tuesday, August 4
Residents have planned street parties throughout the City, which will include activities such as a petting zoo, carnivals, spaghetti dinner, potluck dinners, garden produce exchanges, music, games, parades, and more. City Council, Police, Fire, and other members of City staff will attend as many events as possible. McGruff the Crime Dog will make a surprise visit to four events with the Police Mobile Command Center.

Police Safety Fair
Friday, August 7, 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 8, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The West Valley City Police Department will be hosting their annual Police Safety Fair at Valley Fair Mall, 3601 South Constitution Boulevard. There will be Police K-9 demonstrations both days at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. West Valley City Fire, Neighborhood Watch, Vial of Life, and Salt Lake County Safe Kids Coalition will also have displays.

Community Crime Prevention Seminar Series
Monday, August 10, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
As part of a yearlong FREE crime prevention education series, August will focus on ID Theft and Senior Fraud. The presentation will be made by AAA Fair Credit Foundation.

Family Safety Fair
Thursday, August 27, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
The West Valley City Family Fitness Center, 5415 West 3100 South, will be hosting a FREE Family Safety Fair.

For more information about West Valley City's August Neighborhood Nights and National Night Out Against Crime, click here.

E-mail: jboal@ksl.com


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