Plainfield Burglaries Prompt Woman to Launch Neighborhood Watch

After two similar crimes in the same neighborhood, one resident wants to make sure homeowners are on the alert.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo
A Plainfield resident said she's looking to form a neighborhood watch-type group after two burglaries that have shaken up neighbors.

Last Friday, police said a family reported a burglary in their home in the 16000 block of Lexington Drive. The family told police they arrived home around 10:30 p.m. to find the previously locked front door open and the sliding patio door ajar — and clothing and jewelry missing.

According to police, the burglary is the first in the neighborhood in the last six months. 

A Patch article on the crime prompted Arbor Drive resident Susan Norsen to reach out to Patch. Norsen said it was her home — located just one street over from Lexington Drive — that was burglarized in August.

As in the Lexington Drive burglary, Norsen said whoever robbed her home forced entry through the locked front door and exited through the patio door, targeting the same types of items.

About $60,000 worth of jewelry was stolen, Norsen said in an email to Patch. "Many pieces with valued family memories," she added.

"Basically, they dumped out everything in my jewelry drawer and armoire," she said. "We had to have the entire front door replaced, as they forced right [through] the dead bolt and broke the door frame."

Norsen criticized the investigation by Plainfield police, saying the case was closed — unresolved — after 90 days. She said she also doesn't feel police spent enough time following up on leads provided by residents, such as a report of an unfamiliar car spotted by a neighbor parked on the street after the burglary.

"An invasion of one's home is a terrible thing, and I feel badly that another family had to experience it," Norsen said. "Plainfield taxes continue to  increase, yet our services that should provide safety to our community protecting it from crime clearly doesn't warrant our dollars spent ...  As honest taxpayers, we lock our doors, go to work, school/activities while some thief is watching our neighborhood patterns."

On Wednesday, Plainfield Sgt. Kevin McQuaid said police continue to look into the Lexington Drive burglary and are "investigating all avenues" in the case.

Norsen said she now pays for a security system to monitor her home and to help her feel safe after her sense of security was shattered by the burglary. She also she wants her neighbors to be aware of the crimes and stay on the alert.

Norsen asked residents who are interested in forming a neighborhood watch-type group or coalition to contact her at 331-442-0677.

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Hugo January 17, 2014 at 08:07 AM
Cops are in the subdivisions all the time. If you need evidence look up the tickets they write for overnight parking. If that's not proof, I don't know what is. Unless I call it in, I can usually count on getting one. But that's right...you're asleep, and a cop obviously isn't in the neighborhood unless you happen to be looking out the window at that time. Right.
Vicky Polito January 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM
I don't feel that the Plainfield Police are doing a bad job. Criminals are becoming bolder and their number has increased. I just don’t think that anyone is willing to pay for the number of officers and the amount of gear it would take to have the kind of block-by-block, dedicated police presence some advocate. And, some people would actually not be happy about “too much” police patrolling, either. You’d get the other complaint: it’s too much, it’s wasteful, etc. (I’ve lived places where heavily armed police are out on the streets or subway platforms or you’re at a café and suddenly the place is swarmed by officers and exits are sealed to look for a suspect as you go about your daily life. Yes, it’s “secure” but it’s a bit grim.) I never thought I'd be a person who wanted a home security system, but we have a very jacked up system we got about a year ago (it’s amazing what these systems are able to do these days). It’s sad to think it's come to this way of living, but we do feel generally safer both at home and when we're not home. If you took what it would cost for every home in Plainfield to buy a robust security system and paid that instead as taxes for police, would you be able to provide the kind of police coverage and protection people sometimes ask for? I don’t know. I know it's very expensive to operate a good police force and I think it's probably mistaken to think that taxes are high enough right now that they would cover the kind of police protection people are demanding. And as always, I say that police enforcing speed laws, traffic code, etc., is part of protecting the citizens. Ask anyone who’s lost a loved one—not just lost possessions, but lost a person—due to someone driving drunk or too fast, etc., and they’ll tell you they can’t stop thinking what might have been if that law breaker had been stopped by an officer either moments or months before the event that ended a life and devastated a family.
joe January 17, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Dear Scumbag burglars and home invaders. I'm retired and at home most of the time. The good news is I keep my doors and windows locked to protect you from entering my home. If you do break in, I promise you that I'll dial 911 ASAP so you'll get to the ER ASAP after I shoot you. And for all you Anti-Gun people out there who don't like my post, please stop confusing me with someone who gives a damn what you think. Police investigate crimes, rarely do they prevent them. They do a good job, but manpower is limited. We the people are our own first line of defense. SEMPER FI
Vicky Polito January 17, 2014 at 07:08 PM
I’m not at all against people protecting their homes and lives. Most of us who have a gun at home have it exactly for that, not for any other reason. I do sometimes wonder, though, why all the bluster? How come so many people who say they’ll use a gun to protect themselves can’t do it without fluffing up the statement with really aggressive, angry, fairly violent phrases? What’s with all the tough guy talk? For Pete’s sake, life is NOT an action movie! At our house, the conversation about the handguns there for protection was always pretty calm and steady. Guns were always serious weapons, there for protection. They were not toys, not conversation pieces, not for bragging or showing off. And, the idea—one that most well-trained and experienced police officers share—was that you had to be prepared to accept that if you needed to fire the gun, someone might be killed but that you should always try to avoid killing someone if you at all safely could. The gun was to stop an assailant or intruder, and being good handling the gun meant that you might be able to do that without taking a life. Whatever happened to that perspective? I grew up with that and I’ve held onto it all my adult life. When did we make the shift to “I’ll kill anyone who sets one foot in my house/on my property”? You can shoot someone, stop them, have them arrested, and not be a killer. It’s easy to say you’ll kill someone, but in reality that is a very heavy burden, it can haunt you for the rest of your life. Most thieves are looking to steal, not to harm. They’re still wrong and need to be stopped and I know it’s hard to know in the middle of the night what kind of criminal you’re facing, but still, just be sure your shooting skills are sharp and you know what you’re doing with that gun and in most cases you can stop and neutralize anyone very effectively without anyone ending up at the coroner’s office. Easy there, all you Yosemite Sams!


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