Police see spike in residential burglaries

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Home burglaries are increasing rapidly this year in the city of Memphis, officials said Wednesday.

The Memphis Police Department working hard to crush the burglary spike that started several months ago.

"It's something we're aware of," Memphis Police Major Joe Scott said. "It's something we're analyzing. We're doing more to try to hotspot these areas."

Scott said the revolving door of repeat burglars is a major problem.

"We have to talk to our legislators, tell them our concerns, and have them look at these laws and see if appropriate for what we're dealing with."

And what police are dealing with is often tough.  The city's top repeat burglars have been arrested 18 times.

"It's difficult to arrest your way out of this problem," Scott said.

One reason why - burglary doesn't carry a lot of jail time.  On average, according to Scott, the sentence is three months in jail."

"It's a huge issue," he said. "It overwhelms the system, and there needs to be a better answer."

Scott said citizens can be part of that answer by doing things like keeping porch lights on, using motion sensitive lights outside their homes, and keeping trees and shrubs trimmed to eliminate hiding places.

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