3 teens accused of stealing from neighbors in southwest Las Vegas
Metro Police are breathing a little easier this Thanksgiving. They're thankful to have caught three accused teenage theives who they believe were targeting a Las Vegas neighborhood for months. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Las Vegas police are breathing a little easier this Thanksgiving.
They're thankful to have caught three accused teenage thieves who they believe were targeting a Las Vegas neighborhood for months.
Officers with the Enterprise Area Command were relentless in looking for the three suspects who stole thousands of dollars worth of property.
Now, police want you to be aware of the tactic those criminals used in order to protect yourself and your belongings.
18-year-old Marco Martinez is behind bars for burglary and grand larceny. Police say many of his victims were his own neighbors.
"He advised me that he lived one street over from where we had taken him into custody," one Metro officer said.
Officers Clinton Weaver and Beth Choat caught Martinez near Buggalo and Gomer in the southwest Valley community of Mountain's Edge.
Martinez and two other teenage boys were arrested for breaking into dozens of homes and vehicles in the neighborhood.
Investigators said they scoured the streets for unlocked cars, and targeted houses with a simple knock.
"All they wanted was quietness. If nobody came to the door, if they didn't hear dogs barking, if they didn't hear anything, in their mind these people are at work," Officer Weaver said.
When the criminals heard silence, police that's when they'd go around to the back of the homes.
"They'd break a window, go in and steal whatever they could steal quickly, and then convert it to cash," said Officer Choat.
It's not an elaborate scheme, but officers say it's more common than you may think. That's why they recommend making your presence known when you hear someone at the door.
"Make some noise. Either asking 'who are you, what do you want?' Say 'hey honey, there's somebody at the door.' Just something to let them know that you're there. Because then you don't let yourself the opportunity to become victim of a crime."
That doesn't mean open your door to anyone, just let the visitor know that there's somebody inside. And of course, keep valuables out of plain sight, and make sure your home and car are locked at all times.
The Las Vegas police also wants to remind everyone to report suspicious activity, even if nothing appears stolen. If you think your car or home was broken into, call police.