Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Offer Security Survey Effort on Heels of Business Burglaries

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Offer Security Survey Effort on Heels of Business Burglaries

Article excerpt

As the number of business burglaries in the Southside/Mandarin

area has increased, police have become more concerned with

finding ways to prevent the crimes.

After business burglaries in Zone 3, which stretches from St.

Nicholas to Mandarin, rose in February, officers at the Wolfson

Police Substation began contacting every business burglarized

since October offering to give them a quick security survey,

said Assistant Chief Justin Hill of the Jacksonville Sheriff's

Office.

The surveys vary slightly from the business walks officers

typically do, he said. In those, officers go to a specific strip

mall or retail area, contact the businesses there and offer

security suggestions.

With the latest program, police focus on businesses that have

already been hit and try to prevent them from becoming targets

again. The survey varies from business to business and is as

thorough as the owner wants.

Even so, of the approximately 350 businesses contacted, only

about 40 asked officers to do the survey.

"I don't understand why businesses would not want to avail

themselves to a quick and thorough survey," Hill said. "All we

can do is offer it. If they don't want to take it, we can't make

them."

Business owners who have taken advantage of the program say

they are glad they did it.

The Thompson House, 1019 Hendricks Ave., has been burglarized

three times in the last two years, said owner Raymond Abraham.

He chose to have an officer look around the restaurant in March

because he wants to do all he can to avoid another burglary.

"I'm doing everything preventative that I can on my end," he

said.

When he closes the restaurant, Abraham said he leaves the

blinds open and the lights on so anyone who breaks in would be

seen from the street. He also empties the cash register, leaves

it open and puts a sign on the front door that says no money is

kept in the restaurant overnight. …

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