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Police warn of home burglaries clustered in north Clearwater

CLEARWATER — A rash of home burglaries during the past two months has the Clearwater Police Department urging city residents to be vigilant for potential intruders as they celebrate Thanksgiving.

There have been more than 30 residential burglaries or attempted burglaries since late September, authorities said Tuesday, clustered in the areas of North Greenwood, Old Clearwater Bay and Kings Highway.

Investigators believe they are related.

"While we have stepped up patrols in the areas, we can't be everywhere all the time," Clearwater police Chief Tony Holloway said in a statement. "If you see something, please call us when it's happening."

The burglaries have followed a pattern. Intruders knock on the front door of a house and, finding nobody home, break in through the rear of the house, police said.

Stolen items have included jewelry, money, guns and electronic equipment with a value totaling about $30,000, according to Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.

Four juveniles have been arrested on burglary charges related to some of the break-ins, Watts said. She said police believe they could be part of a larger group of juveniles committing the burglaries.

As a result, she said, Clearwater residents should be particularly watchful this week, when many children and teenagers are on holiday.

"We want to just make people aware of this trend, especially with kids being out of school this week," she said.

Anyone who witnesses a burglary happening should call 911, and can call the general Police Department line at (727) 562-4242 to report suspicious activity, Watts said.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Police warn of home burglaries clustered in north Clearwater 11/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:44pm]
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