By Lt. Col. Daniel Hulsebosch, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Directorate of Emergency ServicesJuly 26, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Incorrect information was broadcast at a Family Readiness Group meeting, July 14, "Over the past 24 hours, Schofield Barracks encountered seven house break-ins. These break-ins were planned by a theft ring, which targets easy access/unsecured homes, while using existing moving trucks, packers and community housing vehicles as a cover."
This incorrect information immediately caused quite a stir within the community.
By July 15, the rumor had made its way to the office of the Directorate of Emergency Services for confirmation and for a plan to stop this theft ring.
The DES quickly queried the database to confirm how many actual cases occurred during the 24-hour period. That information is quite different from the initial erroneous report.
July 14, five different Schofield homes were the target of theft; however, the homes were not broken into. Army law enforcement is investigating, but it appears that these larcenies were matters of opportunity. The homes were left unlocked, and the thief simply walked in, picked up small items - which could be easily concealed, sold or pawned - and walked away.
DES does not have any indication that loading vans or other vehicles were used. The stolen items were easily transportable, and most were small enough to fit in pockets, purses or backpacks. Items included cell phones, iPods, Blackberrys, video games, digital cameras, a laptop computer and jewelry.
Civilian and military law enforcement regularly patrol military housing communities, but it's also important for families to take a few precautions of their own, as these types of crimes are the easiest to prevent.
Residents need to take the simple step of securing the doors and windows of their homes and storage buildings, and keep valuable items safely secured and out of plain sight, where items may be tempting to potential thieves.
Residents who notice suspicious activity in or around their neighborhoods should call 911 or local authorities.
If you have any information regarding these incidents, call the Schofield Barracks Police desk at 808-655-7114, or the investigations division at 808-655-9669.
Tired of criminal mischief in your neighborhood, but concerned about getting involved' The Directorate of Emergency Services has a system in place wherein community members can submit anonymous crime tips to the Military Police Station via cell phone text message or computer.
To submit a text message tip through a cell phone: (1) Type "TIP730" and provide the tip information, (2) Type "Crimes" in the "to" line, and (3) Hit "Send."
To submit a tip via your computer: (1) Go to www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm, (2) Enter country and state information and select either Schofield or Shafter from the pull-down screens, (3) Provide as much tip information on the Web page as possible, and (4) Click on "submit tip."
Tipsters are given an alias to allow for anonymous two-way communication should the MPs require more information. Continue to report emergencies by dialing 911 or by contacting the Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter MP Stations at 808-655-7114 and 808-438-7114.