Three children in a Maple Avenue residence were disappointed recently when they woke up one morning to find all their bikes missing.
Now that family is among several others that are taking measures to protect their belongings amid what they see as a recent uptick of thefts and suspicious behavior in their neighborhood.
Kathy Case, a Cortland resident, said Wednesday that she watches her brother’s children at their home on Maple Avenue during the day. One day, two bikes and an electric dirt bike went missing from the home, she said.
The bikes were later discovered down the street near the local Byrne Dairy, and now they get locked up at night, she said. A suspect in the robbery was never found, according to Case.
“Everything has gotten really bad, you can’t leave anything out,” Case said.
In light of the robbery, Case says everything gets locked up now.
Mayor Brian Tobin says he is aware of break-ins occurring in the city.
While college was in session, one of the athletes he coached who lived off campus came to him about a break-in, said Tobin, who told the athlete to contact city police.
“In cases like this it’s a police matter,” Tobin said.
These incidents are occurring more frequently, say residents.
City Police Lt. Rick Troyer said the department is aware of and currently looking into a few robberies and break-ins that occurred around Homer Avenue but has no further information on them.
Troyer said the break-ins and robberies of the homes are believed to be unrelated to a recent spate of larcenies from cars throughout the city.
In March, city police were warning the public to lock their homes at night after a series of burglaries reported over two weeks in the West End. At the time, police said burglars were not entering the homes, but were opening up doors and grabbing items just inside the doors. Those burglaries occurred in the areas of Lincoln, Maple, Groton and Homer avenues and West Main Street.
Residents in the area of Lincoln Avenue say they are taking measures to safeguard their property after hearing of this increase in thefts in the area.
Kristen Tetreault and Jade Shingler live on Lincoln Avenue and say that they have heard of these incidents, but have not personally been the victim of any theft.
As a result of hearing about the robberies and break-ins, however, they are now more vigilant about locking up at night.