Sheriff changes policy: In-person response to burglary reports

Vehicle burglary investigated by Washoe County Sheriff
Vehicle burglary investigated by Washoe County Sheriff(Washoe County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 6:13 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - These days a parked car along a roadway, in a parking lot or neighborhood is a crime waiting to happen.

Vehicle burglaries are all-too-common in our area. In fact, in a recent community survey, local residents ranked them as one of the public’s major crime concerns. Ironically though. it’s estimated more than half of these crimes are never reported.

Victims doubt they will ever be solved. One big reason has been that if they call to report it, they’ll simply be told to file a report online. Unless the crime is in progress, no one is responding

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is about to change that. As of April 5th, any call about a burglary will bring an in-person response.

“We are going to respond to all burglaries, whether it’s commercial, vehicle or residential with our personnel deputies or field support,” says Sheriff Darin Balaam.

The current policy dates back to budget cuts a decade ago in the wake of the recession, but it left the public with a jaded view of law enforcement’s concern.

Sheriff Balaam says the change is more than an attempt to address that perception. It’s a crime reduction strategy aimed at a specific goal.

“One of our goals is a reduction of vehicle burglaries of 15%. We are setting a very high goal and we believe if we can partner with our community we can not only achieve that goal, but keep everybody safe and reduce crime over our entire region.”

The hope is the policy change will lead to a better understanding of the depth of the problem as local agencies track the crime and reduce it throughout the region.

“By doing this hopefully the community will see that we take their crimes seriously and we’re going to go out and solve as many as we can and we’re going to work together with the community to address this issue.”

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