On Wednesday, February 27, downtown merchants and Silver City Police Department officials sat down together to work out prevention techniques concerning burglaries.  Numerous burglaries, including repetitive ones at a few downtown businesses, have become serious.  Graffiti, including a recent large one painted high on the side of the historic Schadel’s Bakery, is upsetting merchants and visitors alike.

    SCPD Captain Ricky Villalobos and SCPD Captain Javier Hernandez met with ten business owners and others who were interested in strengthening downtown security.  Folks spoke of the need to keep downtown Silver City vibrant and attractive to shoppers.  Folks also spoke of the need to protect the lives of downtown business owners, expressing concerns that if the crime did not stop, someone might “take the law into their own hands.”

    Police agreed that suspicious persons watching a business by repeated visits or walk-bys should be reported and that a business owner should file a complaint of criminal mischief against the person.  The Silver City Neighborhood Alliance agreed that photographs of shoplifters and burglars could be circulated among its network, but only if a warrant for arrest was issued by the Department.  The Alliance will keep in touch with merchants and the SCPD for that purpose.
    Merchants agreed the Grant County Regional Dispatch Authority should send out Reverse Notification Calls to merchants when a burglary occurs so that business owners would be aware of the activity and take additional security steps.  Business owners agreed merchants should not buy items from suspicious people, hustling door-to-door, so that the money trail would dry up.  The merchants agreed they’d be watching the merchandise these individuals are trying to sell to see if it is recognized as something stolen and spread the word to other merchants about what it is people are trying to sell door-to-door. 

    The Merchants acknowledged that additional valuable resources were offered by local news outlets and by CrimeStoppers and will work to utilize those services to increase arrest rates and stop downtown burglaries.  Many agreed to follow-up with the Town Council at future meetings to address the issue of insufficient downtown police coverage from a Department currently short-staffed.  Both Merchants and the SCPD will hold quarterly meetings in the future.  For more information, contact scneighborsalliance@gmail.com.

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