Eugene Police go door to door after spike in property crimes

EUGENE, Ore. - For the past few days, Margaret Mazzotta has been walking the streets of West Eugene.

"I have knocked on a bunch of doors," she said while walking down Royal Avenue. "I did about a hundred yesterday and I don't know how many the previous days."

Mazzotta, a Eugene Police Crime Prevention Officer, is knocking with a very specific purpose.

"We've had an increase in crime in the area and so we're just letting everyone be aware of that," she said as she talked to a neighbor.

Eugene Police said over the past several weeks, property crimes, including car break-ins and home burglaries have spiked in West Eugene.

"From Roosevelt to Barger, Highway 99 to about North Terry," said Sargent Lisa Barrong.

Barrong said the data-led policing strategy includes officers going door to door notifying neighbors and increased patrols of the neighborhood.

"If we can have the opportunity to visit with people about heightening their awareness that crimes are on the increase in their area and then teaching them what to do to protect themselves, we can really have an impact," said Barrong.

A lot of the property crime in the area is happening because people make simple mistakes like leaving their car window rolled down or their backpack or their purse on the seat of their car.

"We have case after case of car break-ins where we can actually show that criminals looked in the car before breaking in it and they broke into the ones where stuff was visible."

And the most common property stolen? Things like laptops, TVs and jewelry.

"As far as why, we don't know," said Barrong "For now we have to just attack it and you know address it."

Eugene Police will be hosting a community crime prevention meeting on Wednesday, October 3.

It will be held at Fairfield Elementary School on Royal Avenue in Eugene.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and everyone is welcome to attend.