Madison Police: Overall decline in burglaries across the city - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison Police: Overall decline in burglaries across the city

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The City of Madison has seen a decline in burglaries in the first five months of 2018 when compared to the same time period in 2017, but this May saw an increase in break-ins, according to Madison police chief Mike Koval's blog. 

The Madison Police Department said the city saw 365 burglaries from January to the end of May in 2017. So far this year, the city has seen 326 reported burglaries -- an 11 percent decrease. 

However, there was a spike in break-ins in May of 2018. Chief Koval noted 74 reported burglaries last month compared to 61 in May of 2017. 

Madison police attribute multiple things in the overall decline of burglaries including a public education campaign and the work of the department's Burglary Crime Unit. 

"This particular unit has been able to do some work that we weren't able to do in the past. We didn't have analysts in the past and those two elements have been able to focalize the effort and the work that all of these different units are contributing to on a daily basis," said Officer Howard Payne. 

The unit has been able to connect the dots on different break-ins to see if they're related to each other and work quickly to catch the suspect before he or she strikes again. 

Madison police are encouraged by the decline, but are troubled to know homeowners and their families were inside during 43 of the 74 burglaries in May. 

"We always think of what else could have happened. It may have been your MacBook or your iPhone, purse or wallet, but what could have happened had the homeowner went downstairs for a glass of water and encountered the burglar? So, that's the thing that's unsettling for us," said Payne. 

Officers are also asking everyone to lock their doors and close their garages before going to bed. In a majority of the May burglaries, victims left their doors or garages open, giving easy access for intruders. 

For a complete breakdown in numbers by district, be sure to take a look at Chief Koval's blog

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