RACINE (WITI) -- For nearly 12 hours on Monday, June 2nd, three law enforcement agencies in Racine County searched for Jesus Arroyo -- a prisoner who escaped from custody as he was being transported to the Racine County Jail. Schools were locked down as law enforcement officials combed through neighborhoods to find the guy who made a break for it wearing belly chains and handcuffs. Now, officials in Racine County say the search was made even more difficult by something neighbors didn't do.
Racine police say during Monday's search, as they went door-to-door looking for Jesus Arroyo -- they discovered an alarming trend: Numerous homes in the search area were found to have their doors and garages unlocked -- with no one home!
Police say not only can this be an invitation for a man on the run -- but also, burglars.
As Arroyo on Wednesday, June 3rd appeared in court -- facing three charges related to his escape, Racine police issued an alert to neighbors.
In a statement, police say:
"Statistically the majority of burglaries are committed during the day when most homes are believed to be unoccupied. Further, most burglaries are crimes of opportunity. The offenders find a home with an unsecured door, open ground floor windows, opened garage doors, and easily removable window unit air conditioners.
Finding these unsecured residences was clearly concerning while searching for an escaped prisoner, however that is an extremely rare set of circumstances. We wanted to take this opportunity to remind our citizens about using some extra precautions to protect themselves from being the victim of burglary and theft. A few simple steps to 'target harden' your residence will leave potential offenders without the crime of opportunity they are looking for."
Racine police are encouraging residents to: Lock their doors and windows upon leaving home, securing window air conditioning units, have mail/newspaper delivery stopped when traveling, break down major appliance/high-ticket item boxes on garbage day, and report suspicious persons and activity.
Racine police say:
"Reported burglaries are down 22% from this time last year. While this is encouraging news, burglary reduction remains a high priority for our department. The citizens of Racine have done an outstanding job reporting suspicious activity/persons in their neighborhoods which has led to the arrests of several burglars. Hopefully by reminding you of these simple steps to target harden
your property, Racine can experience and even bigger reduction in burglaries."
Melissa Savino says law enforcement officials searched her home Monday -- after finding the door unlocked.
"I had left it open and obviously, you're not supposed to do that," Savino said.
Savino says she learned a lesson the hard way a few years ago.
"I had someone come into my house and steal two laptops out of my house. I have to make sure I lock my windows and doors at night. Keep my doors locked definitely," Savino said.
If you have information on burglaries or any other crimes occurring in Racine, you are urged to contact the Racine Police Department Detective Bureau at 262-635-7756.
You may also contact Crimestoppers at 262-636-9330, or by texting RACS plus the message to CRIMES (274637) and referring to Tipsoft I.D. #TIP417 with your text message.