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Thieves hit more businesses


Town police still working on rash of burglaries



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Hurley (click for larger version)
November 27, 2012 | 02:09 PM
GENEVA — The thefts, burglaries and break-ins continue.

Police believe in the early morning hours of Nov. 12, someone committed a burglary at Mars Resort and attempted to break into Hemingways Port-of-Call.

Town Police Chief Steve Hurley spoke about the latest crimes, which appear to now be a local trend, over the phone Nov. 26.

"We've got this whole rash of burglaries going on throughout Walworth County," Hurley said. "Some of them have unique things we'd like to follow up on before we release these details to the public."

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He did say nothing was reported stolen from Hemingway's, N3270 Highway H, but someone gained access into the establishment.

"They forced the door open," Hurley said.

As for Mars Resort, W4098 South Shore Drive, someone entered through a window, he said.

"In all of them, it's been some kind of forced entry — either through a door or the windows," Hurley said.

He said he could not discuss what was taken from Mars as it would be detrimental to the case.

"But I can say we're working jointly with all the other departments throughout Walworth County that have experienced bar and restaurant burglaries," Hurley said.

The town of Geneva is one of several municipal police departments working with Fontana Police Chief Steve Olson. Hurley said Olson is coordinating all the information about these incidents.

But according to Hurley, commercial properties appear to be the main target.

Residents have nothing to worry about, Hurley said.

Although there have been residential break-ins — including a home invasion in August on Snake Road — Hurley previously described them as isolated incidents.

"The incidents of residential burglaries are relatively low in the town of Geneva," he said Nov. 26. "We're not experiencing anything out of the ordinary there."

But since October, numerous businesses have been burglarized, including In The Drink, W3860 Lakeshore Drive.

Outside of the town of Geneva, but in the southeastern region of Walworth County, businesses that have been broken into include Shifter's Bar and Food, W3230 S. Lakeshore Drive, town of Linn; and 332 Fellows, the tavern/restaurant named after its own street address in Genoa City.

Tips

So, what should you do if you own a business in Walworth County?

Hurley said there are several tips on his department's website, which recently went online.

The site, townofgenevapolice.com, provides a section dedicated to burglary prevention and home security.

Included in the section are a PowerPoint presentation and tips such as avoid placing family names on doors and mailboxes, breaking down boxes for electronic appliances so the brand names are not easily visible and regularly picking up mail so it doesn't pile up in a mailbox or on a doorstep.

"This was actually on there before the burglaries started," he said.

Hurley said he has met with business owners throughout the town since the rash of burglaries began.

"We've discussed the measures they can take to protect their property after hours," he said.

Some punch list items include:

Keep a minimal amount of cash, if any, is left on the premises at night.

Conduct one last check of all doors and windows to ensure they are locked up before leaving after closing time.

Ensure alarms and security systems are working well.

Hurley also suggested people pay closer attention to their environment.

"If they see anyone who's suspicious, let us know," he said. "Basically, we're asking (business owners) to be a little more aware of who comes in to heighten their level of awareness."

That goes for residents who live near these businesses, too.

"If residents see suspicious vehicles or people any time, especially after closing, please notify police immediately," Hurley said.

He said in nonemergency situations, people should call his department at (262) 248-9926.

If it's an emergency, dial 911.

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