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Treasure Coast Essay

A rash of pillowcase burglaries

We have been hearing and reading a lot about “pillowcase burglars” on the Treasure Coast.  They break into a house when no one is home and use pillowcases to hold the loot they grab  -- cash, credit cards, laptop computers, jewelry, guns, cameras and so on.  St. Lucie and Martin Counties have experienced more than 200 pillowcase burglaries in the past couple of years, mostly in neighborhoods near entrances to I-95 and the Florida Turnpike for a fast getaway.  Police think most of the pillowcase burglars are men in their 20s and that many come up from Broward County.  They park their vehicle with dark tinted windows near the target house.  They may or may not knock on the front door to make sure the house is vacant.  They sneak around to the back, smash through a sliding glass door, snatch pillowcases from the linen closet and take whatever is valuable and portable.  Then off they go to a pawnshop that operates outside the law or other buyer.  Some get caught.  Many don’t.  What can we do?  Leave lights and a radio on.  Don’t let newspapers and mail accumulate where they can be seen.  Above all, encourage neighbors to be nosy and to call 9-1-1 if they see something suspicious at or near our house.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.