Southborough Police warn residents after five break-ins in the past seven days

by susan on August 8, 2012

The Southborough Police Department is warning residents to be vigilant after a string of break-ins in recent weeks. In the last seven days alone, four homes and one business have been broken into.

Police say they’ve stepped up patrols, but they’re asking for the community’s help in reporting suspicious activity. They’re also warning residents to secure their homes and vehicles. Here’s more from the department’s Facebook page.

Over the past three weeks, there have been several break-ins to residences and motor vehicles in our town. Our detective unit is very busy investigating and following up on leads, but we could always use your help (tips or observations)! Below is a list of break-ins that have occurred in Southborough, including the dates and locations. Take a minute to look at them, and try to remember if you happened to observe anything suspicious in that area on those dates.

07/17/12: Several vehicles on Sarsenstone Way.
07/19/12: A business on Central Street.
07/27/12: A vehicle on Park Street.
08/01/12: A residence on Maple Street.
08/03/12: A residence on Middle Road (South).
08/04/12: A residence on Parkerville Road (South).
08/06/12: Eaton Apothecary
08/06/12: A residence on Main Street.

Each one of these incidents resulted in the loss of privacy and personal property of the owners. Please be extra vigilant in protecting your own personal property, by removing valuables from your car and always locking your vehicles & homes. We have increased our patrols, and have made sure to investigate any suspicious activity- either on patrol or reported to us by observant residents. Call us at any time if you observe any suspicious activity in your neighborhood or work place. Thank you!

If you have any information on the recent crimes, or if you notice suspicious behavior, contact the Southborough Police Department at 508-485-2121.

1 Resident August 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

I find this exceedingly troubling. While our schools get 100% of the funding they request every year along with grants for iPads and the like, our public safety departments are forced to take budget cut after budget cut. By reading the police logs it is apparet that these cuts regularly result in under-staffing. Now we are seeing a “crime spree” in our town. When are people going to put 2 and 2 together and see that we can’t keep stealing from “Peter” (public safety) to pay “Paul” (our inflated school system)? I have never begrudged our school system the percentage of my tax dollars that go toward supporting it, and I have never had children in the Southborough school system. But we are now experiencing a situation that threatens my personal safety, the security of my property and the value of my home. Enough is enough!

We can’t expect our police force to protect us if we don’t give it the resources it needs to do so.

2 SB Resident August 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM

You don’t seriously think that having more police would’ve prevented these incidents. What do you think they could possibly do? A better argument would be lowering our tax costs would allow us all to afford a home security system.

On that note, what do people pay for their systems? I found it to be around 30 bucks a month, which seems high for the service I’m getting. (though I know they are subsidizing installation costs with this fee) I’d rather pay more upfront and less monthly. For now, the dog better do her job.

3 Laura August 13, 2012 at 5:09 PM

My monitoring service is $240 for the year paid up-front annually. There was a separate installation/hook-up fee but I don’t remember what that was as it was done about a decade ago.

4 Alan August 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I agree with Resident. Lets cut back on the school budget for a while, just a while, or at least freeze it and support the needs of our Fire and Police budgets to get them what they need. I to have no children in the school system either but keep seeing budgets in town get cut or frozen that every resident, including the children, needs and uses. Lose the hovercraft and now crime spree.

Also, when I was child in town and we had a crime spree, Parents would ask the children to pay attention in school or when they were with there friends if they heard any talk about the crimes and notify them if they did. This didn’t meen kids were involved and doesn’t meen our fine children are now. It is one of the largest gatherings of our residents on a daily bases in town. It is now school vacation but the children still gather on a daily bases now as well. I see group of children every day walking, biking and such. They see and hear things as well and may be reluctant to come forward even though they have done nothing wrong. Some crimes were solved by what the children heard and saw back in the day.

5 Alan August 8, 2012 at 2:44 PM

SB Resident

More police may have not prevented what has happened already but may help them solve the ones that have already happened quicker. As an engineer I have seen proof that the more minds on a problem, the quicker the solution, the faster the problem gets fixed.

Dogs can be effective and someone else suggested to me motion lights in the back yard.

Also, I think most of the alarm companys are in and around the same price. At least I havn’t found any for less. I to think it’s a little much to pay as well. The system I use when I am at home in the house cost a one time fee of about $300 to $500 and has no monthy fee after that. You can find them on the web at

6 Curious August 8, 2012 at 9:37 PM

It would be helpful if the police identified how many of the car “burglaries/break-ins” were to cars with their doors unlocked and valuable items left in plain sight? This is not to minimize the inconvenience and loss to the car owners, it would help us understand if this is the work of wayward teenagers versus more experienced and potentially more dangerous thieves.

Same goes for the break-ins to residences. Were doors or windows left unlocked? When I lived in the Back Bay many year ago, my apartment was burglarized when I was at school. The burglar was later identified as a drug addict. Although I had very little of value in my apartment, the loss of privacy and resulting feeling of being on edge when coming home, was very unsettling to me.

7 SB Resident August 9, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I’m with you curious, I’ve never understood why the police keep the details of these events so private. Their webpage doesn’t even list the estimated times they occurred. What was stolen, which house, how the house was broken into, time of day, were the homeowners on vacation are all very relevant to how I will react and prepare myself due to the news, without the non-info that I have, I can’t due much of anything but panic. Many robberies are done by people the victims know who know you have something. If there is a trend in the time of day, I will be more vigilant during that time. I might realize a pattern in those houses that the police would never know. Secrecy solves nothing, but information can solve it.

Thank you for the security system tips. I will be investigating too. I’ve contemplated the smith and wesson option, but I am really mostly worried about vacations when me (and the dog) are not home.

8 Karen Muggeridge August 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

In medicine there is a practice called Universal Precautions where you automatically assume that everyone you come in contact with may have a communicable disease and you treat all with the same infection control techniques.

We should apply the same theory how we protect the safety of our homes and property. Unfortunately we are getting a reminder to be more vigilant.

The little nuances of each incident shouldn’t matter. This time it may have been someone else, next you or me. If you knew that they had left their door open, what would you do differently? I know I am going to take more precautions and had maybe been a little lax. Have now had a wake up call, unfortunately at someone else’s expense. (I am not a fan of the S&W approach.)

I am not sure that I want all of the details of the break-ins posted. If it were my house, do I want people to know whether or not I have a security system, or leave my car unlocked.

If you feel that strongly, go to the Police station and ask. They may give you more details. The last time there was a run of car break-ins, the cars were unlocked I believe, but no more than general details were given.

The fact of this happening and more importantly the follow up and investigation to the break-ins and related budget issues is another topic. I would urge anyone who is truly interested to go to the meetings where the police budgets will be discussed well before they come to the floor at Town Meeting. Last year the BoS and Advisory met jointly with Department Heads. The Agenda schedule should be posted on the town web site.

Thank you to the Southborough Police Department for all that you are doing, btw. It has been a busy summer. Remember you can call in vacation checks to them if you are away.

9 Curious August 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Karen Muggeridge-

I had to read your post three times to try to understand your logic, yet I still fail to see it.

“The little nuances of each incident shouldn’t matter.” Yeah – they do matter! If you are in medicine, do you treat someone with a cold the same way you treat someone with a more serious condition?

There is an enormous difference between a foolish teenager opening an unlocked car door and stealing an ipod that I left on the seat versus a drug addict or a professional thief creeping into my driveway at night. There is also a huge difference between a teenager opening an unlocked door during the day when nobody is home and taking cash from the table versus a thief opening a locked door and coming into my home while I am asleep upstairs.

Although the property loss is the same under each scenario, the loss of peace of mind and potential for violence and injury differ radically.

If I knew there was a professional thief in the area, I might invest in an alarm despite how I hate the sound of all those house alarms shrieking after a thunderstorm. If I suspected the problem was a wayward teenager, I’d try to remember to lock my car and doors and windows, but not worry too much.

I do not believe the police should identify which home was burglarized as I believe that is too invasive. Burglars do return as happened to a family member years ago. There is benefit from disclosing the street of the burglary so neighbors might call in something odd they saw at the time of the robbery. Also, a general warning of the type of entry, ie daytime or nighttime, locked or unlocked, occupied or unoccupied home, etc, would be very helpful. Also, information regarding the street(s) involved in the burglaries, and any comments re suspicious vehicles or person seen in the area would be helpful so as good neighbors, we could pay more attention and call the police if we see something unusual.

Finally, I’ll wager that most burglaries are solved when a neighbor sees something suspicious and calls the police immediately rather than police simply driving through a neighborhood. The solution to these problems is not more police, but more alert neighbors.

10 Karen August 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Almost all of the information you refer to is publicly available from the police logs. Several of the break ins are listed as forced entries when the residents were not home. The streets are all listed. The incident at the Eaton Apothecary was also a forced entry.

From how I read what you are saying, we differ in that, I will take certain precautions regardless, and that your piece of mind and what precautions you take will be driven by what, where and who is doing the crime in the area.

Interesting that while there are alway a number of false home alarms, I wonder if they know whether or not the recent ones are indeed false.

You are right in that we can all be extended eyes and ears of the police department and be attentive to any suspicious activity we may see.

As for your question regarding the person with the cold, I don’t want to veer of topic, and maybe should not have used the example, but the answer is yes. Even without an obvious illness, the same infection control techniques should always be used.

11 M August 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM

At the recent community meeting, the police explained that the details are kept from the public in order to hide the method of operation (m.o.) of the criminals. If the same thieves are hitting more than one home in the same manner, it is easier to compare the information with other towns police departments, and it is helpful in prosecuting the offenders. A hidden detail revealed by a suspect, could incriminate them. Also, Most Important—the thieves would change their process if they knew everyone was keeping extra watch for their times or their vehicle.

The meeting was also attended by a local news reporter.

12 PM August 8, 2012 at 10:48 PM

We have an alarm system even though we’ve always felt safe in Southborough. But having kids in the house you can never be too careful! Our system cost more to be installed but only costs $22 a month for monitoring. We use Safety Signal. They are very responsive when we accidentally set off the alarm (which is at least once a month).

13 Protected August 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM

I have fire, burglary, and emergency alarm system and pay $12/mo and am very happy with their service. If you want to change, the company I use is Mid-State Alarm in Leominster.

14 Alan August 9, 2012 at 9:12 AM

$12 a month is very reasonable. Thanks Protected, I will be looking into this.

15 Protected August 9, 2012 at 8:56 PM

You’re welcome, Alan. Tell Dave that his Southborough client recommended you! I think I’m his only one.

16 Big Brother August 9, 2012 at 9:36 PM

“When we sacrifice freedom for saftey we achieve niether” – Thomas Jefferson

17 Sue Rosenthal August 19, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Big Brother: Actually, you’re paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin. Either way, I don’t think that applies here, when what we’re trying to protect are our homes and hard-earned valuables.

18 DEE SHEEHAN August 10, 2012 at 8:08 PM


19 John Butler August 10, 2012 at 9:06 PM

The subject of budget “cuts” arises regularly here and often requires correction. The police department spending has not been “cut” in any recent year. The department requested a bigger increase than it received, but spending increased compared to the prior year. Asking for more money than you get is so common as to be meaningless.

If we want to vote a bigger increase next year than we have in recent years, that’s fine and may be justified, but let’s not distort the debate with potentially misleading talk about “cuts” that are actually increases.

20 Laura August 13, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Thanks for clarifying. I really don’t appreciate the throw more money at the problem sentiment that sometimes prevails. And, I agree others that adding another police officer cruising around probably won’t do a thing except cause my taxes to go up. I would like to understand if the property was properly secured, so why can’t signs of forced entry or no signs of forced entry be included in the report?

21 Steve August 18, 2012 at 12:08 AM

When looking into companies to monitor your security systems for your home or business, please know who you are hiring!

Be sure to ask the company that you use to monitor your alarm system, the alarm system that keeps your family safe and secure is a UL LISTED company.
Ask if they adhere to all the UL REQUIRMENTS for a central station.

UL sets strict requirements for monitoring and not all companies adhere to it and in turn are not UL listed. They will not tell you unless you ask!

As you may imagine for a company to meet the UL Requirements its costly.

UL audits these companies to be sure they meet all requirements that carry their mark!

Less than 15.00 may be a great price, but don’t sacrifice the safety of your family or home for a few bucks.
be sure you have a company that can respond and repair if for any reason you may need it.

I do not know what company is doing it for less than 15.00 and be UL listed and they may be fine, but be sure to ask if they hold a UL Certificate for monitoring!!

There is a company called Turner Alarm Services that monitors UL LISTED for about 14.99 a month.

You can call Mark @ 508-277-5010

22 M August 27, 2012 at 10:46 PM

I would guess that the recent rash of theft will subside greatly with the opening of school. Southborough is known for being very quiet in the summer, with so many families going to New Hampshire, or the Cape. There are some weeks when I am the only one home on my whole street. Driving through downtown is like a ghost town on a July Saturday evening.

WIth school buses and families going to and fro with all their activiites, it will be a lot harder for theives to go unnoticed.

Let’s just be smart and lock up, anyway.

23 Northsider August 31, 2012 at 9:45 AM

thank you to John Butler for continuing to add to the discussion with pertinent information and i mean it. Thank You. And yes, the police have stepped up their patrols but in my neighborhood we are depending on each other which is really what it is all about; one of my neighbors is away this weekend and I am walking their property a few times. Reach out. Help Each Other.

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