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Milford Beacon
  • Milford police encourage residents to avoid crimes of opportunity

  • A significant increase in thefts from vehicles throughout the city limits of Milford has prompted the Milford Police Department to remind residents to remove valuables from vehicles and keep them locked to avoid crimes of opportunity.
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  • A significant increase in thefts from vehicles throughout the city limits of Milford has prompted the Milford Police Department to remind residents to remove valuables from vehicles and keep them locked to avoid crimes of opportunity.
    Throughout December and January, one suspect, identified as 26-year-old Milford resident Xavier Rivera, allegedly walked on foot throughout the city, looking for vehicles with valuables and unlocked doors. Police said Rivera, also known as Xavier Rivera Rosado, was responsible for a majority of the 78 reported thefts in December.
    There were only three reported thefts from vehicles in November 2013. In December 2012, there were 63 reported thefts from vehicles, evidence that there is usually an increase in thefts around the holidays, according to Milford Police.
    Milford Police Department Chief Keith Hudson said he did not know of any of those 78 thefts requiring force, but that suspects are simply keeping their eyes open for easy targets, which police refer to as “crimes of opportunity.”
    Police spokesman Lt. Edward Huey said the thefts from vehicles are a combination of crime of opportunity as well as planned thefts. Huey said suspects who have often committed this type of crime before, simply walk through neighborhoods to find the opportunity of an unlocked vehicle with valuables inside.
    “He doesn’t have to make a lot of noise or damage property to get items that were easy to sell, or cash,” Huey said.
    Huey said that thefts generally increase around the holidays, especially shoplifting crimes, but that this rash of thefts from vehicles is expected to slow now that Rivera has been arrested.
    “He was responsible for a majority of the [thefts] we were seeing,” Hudson said in agreement.
    In response to the increased crimes, Milford Police beefed up patrol in the reported areas of thefts. Detectives kept an eye on pawn reports that matched stolen property reports to help catch the perpetrator, Huey said.
    Regardless of police presence and the investigation, crimes of opportunity like these vehicle thefts can be avoided by residents’ diligence to keeping their own personal property safely locked, he said. Police also encourage residents to park their vehicles in well-lit areas when possible.
    While the main suspect in these thefts has been arrested, charged and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution, police still encourage residents to mind the safety of their property by taking the necessary precautions.
    “We can put the message out there to lock your doors and not keep valuables [visible in vehicles],” Hudson said.  Hudson said that taking the extra effort to remembering to remove valuables and lock vehicle doors will eliminate the option for criminals looking for a crime of opportunity.
    Page 2 of 2 - Rivera was originally arrested on Jan. 3, after which he was arraigned and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $1,500 secured bond. He was later arraigned again on Jan. 10 while incarcerated for additional charges. He was charged with a total of 18 counts of third-degree burglary, 18 counts of theft under $1,500, a felony charge of theft under $1,500 where the victim is 62 years or older, four counts of second-degree burglary, four counts of receiving stolen property under $1,500 and four counts of theft by false pretense under $1,500. He received an $80,000 bond.

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