A small string of burglaries in the Club West area just before Christmas have some neighbors worried, but it just proves that even Ahwatukee Foothills isn't completely quiet.
In my short time covering crime in Ahwatukee I've realized it's rare. I'm not saying it never happens, it just usually doesn't happen enough for word to get around to the local newspaper.
But this month I did hear about some crime in the area. Neighbors say at least three burglaries have happened in the Reserve and Club West in the week or two just before Christmas. Robert's home was one of them. Robert wished to have his last name withheld for safety purposes.
While he was away at work the glass door to his backyard was shattered and burglars made away with TVs, iPads and anything else they could grab quickly.
"I would just tell people to write down serial numbers and keep track of things," Robert said. "There are some evil people out there, especially this time of year. They took presents from my son. It's just very disheartening."
Robert has since replaced his door and purchased an alarm system. He says he moved to Ahwatukee after his home was burglarized in another part of Phoenix. For it to happen again is very troubling.
Phoenix Police say they have no leads or immediate follow-up on who might be responsible. There were no license plates, witness statements or anything else to help identify the suspects.
Neighbors have told me the homes that were targeted backed up to the desert and were near neighborhood mail boxes so stopped cars might not have looked suspicious. I've also been told about a pair of men who were in the neighborhood recently claiming to sell cleaning supplies who seemed suspicious.
"A friend of mine was home when they came over and they said they were selling something but they just sort of forced their way into the home and starting asking strange questions," said Rene Roberts, a neighbor in Club West. "They asked if she had a husband and stuff like that. She asked for a brochure and they said they were out. She pulled out her big Doberman and they made themselves scarce but it was very strange."
Any suspicious cars or salesmen should be reported to Crime Stop at (602) 262-6151. If the suspicious salesmen are still in the area or are refusing to leave, call 911.
A Phoenix burglary detective says there is no traceable increase in property crimes during the holidays in Ahwatukee but Phoenix Police did release some holiday safety tips back in November.
Phoenix Police say people often leave homes unsecured as visitors are coming and going but it's important to be vigilant about closing windows and doors whenever you are away or even asleep.
Avoid leaving any empty wrappings outside the home.
"This seemingly harmless action tells would-be criminals what you got for Christmas and they just might be encouraged to break in and take your holiday cheer," a statement from phoenix Police said. "Rubbish should be placed outside no sooner than the evening before pick up, and preferably the morning of."
Police also warn to be wary of strange solicitors or utility and other business employees. Do not open your door to anyone who is unscheduled.
For more information about the Phoenix Police Department, services and programs visit phoenix.gov/police.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or firstname.lastname@example.org