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In the face of another recent string of burglaries, the Artesia Police Department is continuing to urge the public to take precautions in order to deter and possibly prevent such crimes.

Since Friday, a total of seven burglaries and five larcenies have been reported to the APD, along with one report of a stolen vehicle. That report came just before 3 p.m. Monday from Southwest Body and Towing on South First Street.

Five auto burglary reports were made between 5 a.m. and noon Sunday in the 1100 blocks of Runyan and Sears avenues and the 900 block of Clayton Avenue, one report came in Monday afternoon in the 1400 block of Bullock Avenue, and one report was received just before 8 a.m. Wednesday in the 1900 block of Ray Avenue.

One report of residential burglary was received Friday evening in the 3200 block of Grand Avenue and a second Tuesday morning in the 1400 block of Champ Clark Avenue.

“If a burglary occurs at your home or in your vehicle, please keep your own safety in mind,” said Cmdr. Lindell Smith of the APD. “Do not enter the dwelling to see if anyone is still inside. Simply call 911, and we will ensure no unauthorized person is still inside.

“Additionally, please do not touch any part of the house or vehicle while waiting for police to arrive, as it degrades evidence that may be present concerning the identity of the unauthorized entrant.”

Smith also reminds citizens to lock their doors and ensure valuables are removed from vehicles.

“Please lock houses, businesses and other buildings, as well as vehicles,” said Smith. “Thieves these days are casually, but always, looking for unlocked doors, lowered windows, and other easy ways to enter a building or vehicle.

“Removal of valuable belongings to another place instead of plain view is also another thing to consider. Finally, vehicles left running or left with the keys in them are perfectly easy targets for criminals. Please refrain from this, as well.”

With cooler weather approaching, residents – particularly those rising early for shift work – who make a habit of starting vehicles to warm them up, then returning inside, are encouraged to reconsider or be especially vigilant.

Also, while all valuables left inside vehicles are of potential interest to thieves, one item in particular has drawn much criminal attention in recent months: guns.

Guns left in vehicles are generally highly visible, and residents are encouraged to remove them at night.

“Your car is an extension of your home, and certainly you are allowed to carry the gun in the car, but it just makes sense to remove the gun when you’re not in the car so that it doesn’t get stolen,” said Smith.

Residents with guns in the home should also take precautions to lock them away or store them in a discreet location.

Artesia Police Chief Don Raley reported to the Artesia City Council at its Sept. 8 meeting that gun theft has been high of late in Artesia, although such incidents had declined in August, potentially a side effect of the recent raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, and Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.

Since May 1, an estimated 50 auto burglaries and 25 residential burglaries have occurred within the community.

“With cooperation, I am certain the burglary rate and issue will be adjusted,” said Smith.