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'Tis the (Burglary) Season

Local Matters: Burlington police report rash of robberies

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BURLINGTON - When the Byrds sang the lyrics, "To everything . . . there is a season," they probably didn't have burglary in mind. But as it turns out, thieves do have a favorite time of year: We're in it. Over the past two months, the Burlington Police Department has responded to more than 70 burglaries within the city - a figure Deputy Police Chief Mike Schirling characterizes as "a boat load."

While the department is used to seeing a surge in home burglaries due to the fluctuation of students moving in and out of residences, the number of burglaries reported this autumn dwarfs previous years.

Most of the burglaries have not been forced entries, says Schirling, explaining the thieves usually enter through unlocked doors. He even describes one theft where a tenant saw the burglar and - thinking he was a friend of a roommate - said hello, only to find out the man had made off with some of the tenant's belongings.

Police have made at least one arrest. In late September, Timothy Montagne, 22, of Burlington was charged with four counts of burglary. Police would not disclose the location of the thefts due to an ongoing investigation, but Schirling says he does not believe one person is responsible for all of the crimes.

Schirling says the extra weeks of warm weather may have contributed to the elevated number of burglaries and expects they will subside with cooler temperatures.

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