WL leasing center takes extra precautions after 8 burglaries last Thanksgiving

Several residents in The Cottages on Lindberg reported burglaries on Nov. 26, 2015. (WLFI Photo)
Several residents in The Cottages on Lindberg reported burglaries on Nov. 26, 2015. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A West Lafayette leasing center is taking matters into its own hands after eight burglaries were reported there last Thanksgiving break.

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard said it’s the same story every year.

“We have individuals, unfortunately, going around checking to see if residents’ apartments and so forth are secure or not,” Richard said.

Last Thanksgiving, burglars hit the jackpot at the Cottages on Lindberg in West Lafayette, stealing anything from TVs and laptops to clothing.

But apartment complex management said it will not happen again this year.

“If there’s a problem, we fix it,” community manager Caitlin Wright said.

Because the eight burglaries happened at homes with unlocked windows and doors, the Cottages on Lindberg sends out a reminder to residents before holiday breaks.

The reminder tells students and anyone else leaving for the holidays to lock up and take valuables with them.

“And then the day before any break, we enter every single cottage and make sure their windows and doors are all completely secured,” said Wright.

“I think that’s interesting,” resident James Mitchell said when News 18 told him about management’s plan to lock residents’ doors and windows. “It’s probably a good thing for some people, especially if you just forget. It will probably help you out.”

Management also installed security bars on all sliding glass doors.

We asked the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office if they’re increasing patrols during the holidays.

“I can’t say that we’re able to do that,” Richard said. “Just because of our manpower shortage at this time.”

Since last Thanksgiving’s burglaries, the Cottages on Lindberg hired a courtesy officer from the West Lafayette Police Department to monitor the area regularly.

“It’s going to deter people, for sure, so it’s a step in the right direction. I would say,” Mitchell said.

But even with extra precautions, Mitchell is taking his valuables with him on break.

“I’m not going to leave them here, it’s a six-day break,” he said.

Richard said this is a good opportunity to remind people to tell neighbors when they are going out of town for the holidays. He suggests putting your mail on hold while you’re gone and letting your management know if you live in a leasing center or an apartment complex.