Crime hits even our little home

The Delaware State Police reported earlier this week that there are additional charges facing the five teenagers arrested last week in connection with the July 16 burglary of a Bethany Beach home. The police state that these charges stem from nine cases in Dover, Camden, Frederica and Magnolia, and involved the theft of such items as vehicles, satellite radios, watches and more.

A few months ago, police wrangled up another group of youths following an alleged assault in Bethany Beach, and police recovered stolen items from several earlier local break-ins and thefts.

Yes, our little coastal oasis is not immune to crime.

Now, that’s not to say this is a criminal haven, by any means. It’s still probably one of the most safe places to live and visit in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the vast majority of crimes committed here are of the personal property variety — and many of the cases involve teens or young adults, not some organized crime element.

But it’s smart to be vigilant. And it’s smart to be smart.

We have come to a time when it’s important to lock your homes and cars. The majority of incidents that are reported in this area involve unlocked cars or garages being broken into, and goods being stolen. Often times, the suspects reportedly encounter a locked car and move on until they find one more easily accessable.

Though assault and armed robbery numbers are comparably low in this area, be smart. Don’t wander into unlit areas at night by yourself, and if you do see people acting suspiciously, don’t hesitate to call one of the local police departments, or “911” if it’s an emergency. The police in this area have a reputation as being heavy-handed with parking and traffic violations, but make no mistake about it — they are every bit as qualified and professional as any other police department.

They will respond, and they will do so in a timely manner. It’s what they do.

This is not a hotbed of crime. It is, in fact, a very safe place with a negligible homicide and violent crime rate. However, that doesn’t mean you should completely let down your guard. Be vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings, and lock up your belongings. An unchained bicycle on your porch is much more likely to be taken than one that is chained.

Enjoy the area, but make your memories good ones.