Crime is down in Birch Bay, and sheriff’s deputy Zac Reimer has credited the diligence of Birch Bay residents for the change.
“I feel that everyone here has done a tremendous job of reporting stuff to me,” Reimer said at the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce annual dinner Thursday, October 18. He said that the number of incidents have dropped significantly, and it’s a very welcome change for the department.
Over the summer, more than 40 burglaries were reported in the Birch Bay area, and 20 of those were in the Bay Crest neighborhood alone. Reimer attributed the thefts to several separate groups who were all acting independently, but all highly active at the same time. “They were semi-connected ... It was very overwhelming for us to deal with. It took a few months to put everything together and do the best job we could to solve it,” he said.
Now, after several months of work they are close to having the cases resolved. Some arrests have been made and Reimer and other sherriff’s deputies have been gathering evidence since the summer. Just last week they made a major recovery of stolen goods. “We have a lot of bikes,” he told the crowd at the chamber meeting. Reimer said there were few items they hadn’t been able to match up with stolen goods reports. Reimer hopes to have the incidents wrapped up once and for all in the next week or two. “We’ve made a lot of progress,” he said.
In the meantime, Reimer stressed that the key to fewer burglaries was as simple as being conscious and conscientious about securing belongings. He said that 95 percent of the thefts happened in unlocked and unsecured cars, garages, sheds and houses.
“The burglars were just walking in the front door or going through open garage doors,” he said of the summer’s incidents. He encouraged continued community involvement and for residents to continue reporting things that might be out of place. “If you don’t tell us, we don’t know about it,” he said.