In light of the recent spate of home invasions throughout Ann Arbor, students living off-campus and realty companies have expressed concern for their well-being.
Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 18 there have been 82 reported home invasions in the city, and homes near the intersection of Green Road and Glazier Way — the Southeast corner of North Campus — have been major targets of the break-ins. Burglars have kicked in doors and shattered windows of several houses, stealing goods like jewelry and laptops.
Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones spoke to local residents at Clague Middle School last week about the recent home invasions and the city’s subsequent investigations. Invasions are on the rise, and Jones said he believes the unseasonably warm winter has incited criminals to strike.
At the meeting, Jones said police had arrested and released an individual in connection with home invasions earlier in the year, but have not been able to locate him since.
Though not all students have the security of swipe-entry residence halls, Amy Khan, president of CMB Property Management, said all 400 of CMB’s units have locks on doors and windows, though the company does not install alarm systems in its properties.
During his address to residents, Jones suggested that renters, who may not be allowed to install wired alarm systems, implement wireless alarm systems to secure their property.
Khan said an invasion has not occurred at a CMB rental property in several years. However, she noted that she has observed that the students’ forgetfulness, particularly in leaving doors propped open, has led to incidents at other rental properties.
After last summer’s string of sexual assaults, Khan said CMB regularly contacted residents to educate them in maintaining their safety.
“We tried to be proactive and send e-mails to our residents to remind them to maintain a high safety standard by locking their doors and windows and just being extra careful,” Khan said. “Since the assaults, the residents are being more careful and are not propping doors open like they used to for their friends.”
AAPD detective Dave Monroe said police are working diligently with any information and evidence they have received.
“If I were a resident, my primary concern would be that I wouldn’t want to have my home broken into,” Monroe said. “Secondly, I would want the attackers caught.”
In several incidents, burglars have knocked on a resident’s door in order to see if a home is vacant before breaking in. Monroe said residents should make their homes “look occupied,” and avoid revealing personal information to door-to-door solicitors who may be burglars in disguise.
“If someone comes knocking on your door asking for someone who is not there, call us right away,” Monroe said. “We want to check up on that person.”
Monroe encouraged citizens to ignore any hesitations they may feel about calling the police, even if they believe a situation is minor.
“Call us when you’re concerned,” Monroe said. “When there are people who you haven’t seen before or there’s a vehicle in the neighborhood that looks suspicious, call us. Those small differences really add up.”
LSA junior Jessica Parlove said she and her roommates are careful to keep their front doors and windows locked at their house on Church Street. Nearly half of the recent home invasions occurred through the front door of a residence, and of these cases, nearly 42 percent of doors were left unlocked.
Parlove said she is concerned that police may not be effectively responding to the crimes.
“I’m concerned about what the police are doing to take care of the issue,” Parlove said. “I can’t believe the number is that high, and we haven’t heard about someone being caught.