Dublin P.D. combat rising burglaries with help from Alameda sheriffs

Nearly 200 Dublin residents packed Amador Elementary School to hear police leaders give them a detailed report of the status of crime in their community. 

"I feel like everybody’s scared. I see a lot of people going around and watching for themselves and nobody feels safe," says Dublin resident Chakridhar Sadhu.

"This is getting [crazier] by the day.  They're on foot not in cars anymore. They're hiding in the bushes," said another Dublin resident.

Last month the city of Dublin had 13 home burglaries with a majority of them happening here on the city's east side.  Police say with this recent spike, catching the criminals is their top priority.

"One burglary in the city of Dublin is too many. And we're trying to control this and get a handle on this as quickly as we can," says Dublin Police Chief Dennis Houghtelling.

The way police plan to do that is by getting more community involvement.  Many homes in the city have security alarms, but officers say often times they're not using them.  Police say the criminals are bold in their tactics, striking mainly in the evening hours. 

"The criminals are looking for homes where people are not at home at the time. They'll knock on the door and if nobody answers then they assume no one is at home and they'll go to the back and break a back window," says Houghtelling. 

"People who are doing these crimes are from out of town. Most of them are groups and we found out that most likely they're gang affiliated," says Dublin Police Lt. Nate Schmidt.

For the month of March, home burglaries increased by 400 percent over the same time last year, something the chief says is unacceptable.  That's why he's beefing up patrols with uniformed and undercover officers. As well as calling in reinforcements from the county.  And if that doesn't work some in the community say they'll band together and walk the streets. 

"We will get together and catch these people. Whether they come on foot or on car doesn't matter.  We are together now. So watch out guys," says a Dublin resident. 

Police say they've arrested five people believed to have committed home burglaries in Dublin. In one case the suspects had a gun in their car.