CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Paul McDonald said that the break-ins were only occurring at Sagebrook. They were also occurring in neighboring areas. The article has been updated to reflect this change, and The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
The Sagebrook of Chapel Hill apartment complex has seen a surge in residential break-ins in the past two months.
Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill police, said there have been six cases of breaking and entering at the complex, which is just off U.S. Highway 15-501 on Melville Loop.
The break-ins have typically occurred between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Mecimore said.
At least three Chapel Hill police reports cite forceful entry as a factor.
In each of these three incidents, electronics were stolen from the apartments, but some were later returned.
Paul McDonald, Sagebrook’s property manager, has issued a letter to residents acknowledging the break-ins.
McDonald said police have increased patrols in the area.
“I asked the Chapel Hill police to increase patrols, and they’re more than happy to do that,” he said.
McDonald and the police department have also reached out to Sagebrook residents with resources to prevent break-ins, including wooden dowels to secure front windows.
Mecimore said residents might also need to be concerned about their unlocked cars.
In the last week and a half, there have been at least three vehicle breaking and entering reports in the Pinehurst Drive area — which is about three miles from Sagebrook.
Mecimore suggested residents make sure to lock their cars, especially in the evening hours. Chapel Hill police are also offering home safety seminars for interested residents.
But Mecimore said strings of concentrated residential break-ins like the ones at Sagebrook are not uncommon, and residents do not need to worry.
“I don’t know if I would necessarily call it unusual,” Mecimore said. “The frequency of break-ins ebbs and flows. It’s a constant struggle to combat those, especially since they don’t happen in one area for long.”
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