Since early August, neighborhoods north of Ruthrauff to Ina, and west of Oracle Road to I-10, have had no fewer than 15 household burglaries, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

The department is urging people to lock their doors and windows, and to place dowels or other locking mechanisms in windows and sliding doors. It also encourages implementation of Neighborhood Watch programs.

"Residents with alarm systems should still contact 911 after their alarm is initiated, even if nothing appears to be disturbed," a sheriff's release said. "Residents should remember to stay vigilant and be aware of suspicious persons or vehicles in their neighborhood. If something seems suspicious, please contact 911."

Most of the burglaries have occurred at night, when residents are asleep. No resident has made contact with the suspect or suspects; in most cases, entry was made through a sliding glass door at the back of the residence, or through an unsecured dog door.

Sheriff's auxiliary volunteers are available to perform home safety inspections. People may cal the crime prevention division of the auxiliary volunteers at (520) 351-4685.

To start a Neighborhood Watch, go to the Pima County Sheriff's website at http://www.pimasheriff.org">www.pimasheriff.org and click on the Department Services tab. Local neighborhood crime statistics can also be queried on the Pima County Sheriff's website by clicking on the crime mapping icon.

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