Eugene Police detectives recently arrested two burglars, Janny L Sumnall, age 35, and Samuel S Kinser, age 39, for breaking into vacant homes that were listed for sale or in foreclosure. The burglars used downloaded cell phone aps, including Zillow and Trulia, as well as observing foreclosure notices posted on doors to pick their targets. The burglars would case the homes by peering into windows to make observations of the properties both day and night. The actual burglaries, which involved the removal of appliances and furniture, often occurred during the day. In several cases, the burglars were contacted by neighbors who reportedly were thankful that they were there to “clean” the property. The pair is facing at least ten counts of burglary and three counts of selling stolen property following a multi-week crime spree. Detectives have recovered thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen appliances and furniture from numerous locations, some of which had already been sold to unsuspecting buyers. Through the investigation, detectives have learned that other burglars may be using this same method. Area residents who have been a victim of burglary under similar circumstances are asked to contact Eugene Police Detective Holmberg at 541-682-5839. EPD’s Crime Prevention Unit has shared this crime alert with Eugene area realtors and would like to provide the public with the following prevention tips and information:
• Take steps to make your home appear occupied. Interior lights and sound (talk radio)
on timers can help create an illusion that someone is home. Ask a neighbor to pick up
flyers or circulars that may be left on your front porch.
• Have adequate exterior lighting. Motion sensor lighting is recommended for the front,
side, driveway and backyard areas.
• Trim shrubs and other landscaping so that they cannot be used as hiding places.
• Use good locks on all doors and windows.
• Keep window coverings closed.
• Consider an alarm.
• Consider renting your home or hiring a house sitter to prevent the home
from being vacant during the selling period.
• Please talk with neighbors if you are a realtor or home seller so that they are aware of what
to expect while the home is for sale. Encourage them to contact the Eugene Police Department
non-emergency number (541) 682-5111 to report any suspicious activity.
The Eugene Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit offers free home safety inspections for City residents wanting more security details specific to their property. Give us a call at (541)682-5137 to make an appointment. Our website (www.eugenepolice.com) provides further burglary prevention tips, including detailed burglary prevention tutorials. Follow the links to “Prevention and Safety” then “Protect your Home”.