Flagstaff police report an increase in burglaries

Illustration by Brooke Berry.

Flagstaff Police Department (FPD) has reported an increase in residential burglaries throughout the city. The department is taking action to stop these crimes and warn residents to take precautions. These residential burglaries raise concern for the NAU campus and a potential increase in trespassing.

FPD first reported the increase in burglaries on their Facebook page Sept. 6. According to the post, residential burglaries have increased across town and FPD is working on apprehending those responsible.

The post also provided Flagstaff residents with tips on how to protect themselves from these crimes. Citizens are encouraged to lock all doors and windows before going to bed, monitor mail so that it does not pile up and keep outside lights on.

Earlier this year, FPD also reported an increase in car burglaries. A statement was issued via the department’s Facebook page April 15. Break-ins were reported near Campbell Mesa Loop Trailhead and Mount Elden Lookout Trailhead. Citizens were warned to lock vehicles and remove valuables.

Trespassing is a concern on the NAU campus each year. With an increase in local crime, there is also concern for an increase in on-campus crime. NAU Police Department (NAUPD) is monitoring the situation and encouraging students to stay alert.

Sergeant Joe Tritschler of NAUPD said trespassing has been a more common issue than burglaries.

“We have had no reported burglaries of residential structures on campus during this semester,” Tritschler said. “We did have one residential trespassing incident reported this semester, and we issued a crime alert regarding the incident.”

The trespassing incident occurred Aug. 31 at Wilson Hall. Crime alert fliers detailing the event were plastered on buildings throughout campus.

According to the alert, a resident heard someone attempting to take off their window screen. The resident addressed the intruder, who fled right after. The suspect of the crime was described as a white male with short brown or slicked back hair. However, no one has been identified.

Along with these crime alerts, NAUPD issued safety tips with details on how to prevent incidents like this from occurring. Tritschler said he encourages students to take advantage of this information.

“Additionally, there are safety tips listed at the bottom of the crime alert that we encourage people to use, as well as our contact numbers if they have questions or information,” Tritschler said.

In addition to the trespassing incident on campus, an automobile burglary was reported in the San Francisco Parking Garage Sept. 7. However, no other reports of burglary or trespassing have been made so far this semester.

With an increase in burglaries throughout Flagstaff, citizens and NAU students should take precautions to help maintain a safe community.