Submitted by Joe Bower – Sierra Canyon Owner

I am sure there have been more burglaries throughout our community than I am aware of, but all of a sudden I am hearing about another and another.

Here is an interesting and frightful aspect of a burglary committed earlier this month.  Contrary to speculation, the criminal(s) did not enter through the garage. According to the police and locksmith, the criminal(s) entered via the front door using a master key.

There is lots of talk about going to City Council to seek more police patrols. It is better, in my opinion, to have more local action and that is to: (1) install recording cameras at our homes with window decals announcing that they are there; and (2) let neighbors know when you will be away or when you will be removing furniture and other items from your house; and (3) hide car keys

Our Boards could ask builders, their sub-contractors, and our own contractors to keep a photo of every on-site employee on file.  That might make any workers, who may be potential burglars, think twice. Going to the Board is better than City Council, in my opinion. Operating local is most always best, especially when the City only has so much money, manpower, and time to allocate to various geographical areas.

In my opinion, Neighborhood Watch is mainly a “feel good” option. After a while the signs are a blur. There are even burglaries in gated communities with Neighborhood Watch. Guess what, the burglars are typically the teenagers who live inside the gates.

However, some aspects of Neighbor Watch are excellent:

  • Share information
  • Be alert to what is happening on your street
  • If you see something that doesn’t look/feel right, remember the details as they might be needed later
  • Make your house a “hard target” so burglars don’t want to be there

Thank you Catherine and others who have shared what you know with me. Perhaps owners will comment on this blog about what they know, or even about their own burglary experience (particularly how entry was made), so we all might benefit. Suggestions on what might be done moving forward are most welcome.

Be aware. Be observant.

7 thoughts on “Burglaries

  1. A friend of mine just called to remind me that the City of Reno has a civilian patrol that will drive by your house while you are gone. You can call Reno Direct to request this service and find out the details.

  2. Hi,

    Our family just moved into Somersett 2 months ago. Have been following this site long before then.

    Anyway, what is the master key? Does each builder have one key to access all their new homes? If so this key should never leave the Superintendent’s possesion. This is a troublesome thought. Is swaping out all the builder provided locks suggested?

    You also mentioned garage entry, how have these occured in the past? Through the actual garage door or the side door?

    How about time of day with these recent incidents? And what specific reas are we talking about? Gated or no?

    Sorry for all the questions, but along with being aware and observant I believe it helps to gather as much info as possible to pass along.

    Thank you for the info, I will pass this along, and as always stay alert. I have two little girls and the thought of some tweaker using a key to get into my house while were sleeping makes me sick.

    Breaking into ones home is just plain wrong and not acceptable at any level.

    Thanks again.

    1. There was a recent burglary here in Somersett (non-gated area) where the perpetrators drilled a couple holes in the car entry garage door. This to gain access to the pull down cord releasing the door for manual lifting. They then proceeded to clean out the house as well as stealing the two cars in the garage. Speculation has it that they had most likely backed up a van to the garage door to shield what they were doing. The occupants were on vacation, which the perpetrators most likely knew.

      There are two methods to thwart this type of entry: 1) remove the pull down cord and employ another mechanism for releasing, and/or 2) install manual locking mechanisms on the inside of the door, something the builder of our house did not do.

      Also, a few years back we knew people in Sierra Canyon that had been burglarized by perpetrators who kicked in their garage side door. If yours is inside a fenced yard, suggest the fence gate be locked from the inside when not at home. At least then they will have to climb over the fence to gain entry.

  3. Being City dwellers, we installed a security system the day we closed. Since all of the burglaries (5 that we are aware of have occurred since moving in during December 2015), we have updated our system with multiple features that include cameras. We never leave without performing actions on our Away Check List (provided below).


    Close Curtains
    Computer/Tablets to Neighbours
    Keys and Fobs to Neighbours
    Lock Garage: Unplug and Prep Garage Doors (slide bar with lock on both garage door and auto entry door)
    Lock Side Gates
    Notify Charge Companies
    Safety Deposit Box Run
    Scan Travel Documents
    Set Air Conditioning
    Set Auto Timers
    Trash to Neighbours
    Turn off Fountains
    Turn off Ice Maker
    Turn off Instant Hot Water
    Turn off Auto Coffee Maker
    Turn off Water Valve
    Update ADT Contacts
    Water Yard
    Wood Blocks in Windows

  4. In light of the recent burglaries, I would like to let the residents of Somersett, The Vue, and Sierra Canyon know that I am looking to house sit for anyone who may be going out of town from late December/January to mid-February. I am a long time house and pet sitter, have references, respect other people’s property, and will take excellent care of your home when you are away. Please let me know if anyone is interested. Thank you – Ann

  5. My car window was smashed and purse stolen today in front of the tennis courts at Del Webb Clubhouse Parking Lot. I went in to line dancing at 900 and came out at 1000 and the damage was done. I can’t believe how bold these people are because there are many visitors in and out of the clubhouse at this time. I think it must be some kind of crime ring here because they were fast. By the time I got home to report the theft they were charging on my mom’s credit card at shells and old navy in the sparks outlet mall so this was very fast. The good news is no one is hurt. The bad news is my faith in my fellow man is shaken. Thank you,
    Jil Lehr

  6. I received this email today

    To our Good Neighbors here in Del Webb,

    After another break-in here in Village 12 at Del Webb last week and a car window being smashed and a purse stolen from a car in the Clubhouse parking lot Saturday night, a group of us in Village 12 had a meeting and decided that something has to be done about these crimes. Obviously existing measures are simply not adequate all too often. We have prepared a 2-page Proposal to the Board of Directors to be finalized and presented at the next Board meeting on Jan 13, 2016.

    This email is to include as many of our Del Webb neighbors as we can before the Board meeting, so please feel free to pass it on to others here in Del Webb. Attached is a rough draft of our proposal, to be finalized after more details from alarm companies and the Reno Police Dept are obtained. With our $ 1 million in our Sierra Canyon Association bank accounts, funds available for this investment without raising monthly dues and the quality-of-life benefits of security and peace of mind would be priceless.

    After finalizing our Proposal, then everyone supporting it can sign it. The more signatures and support we have, the larger voice we have with the Board and with the Reno PD. We here at Del Webb pay substantial property taxes each year and obviously need to receive the police services we pay for to start catching and jailing these common criminals who are attacking Del Webb. They are winning with every crime they get away with and it is time to take proven measures, such a security cameras to stop them.

    So please take a minute to read the rough draft of our Proposal attached and email me any input, opinions, comments, and support, etc. Your feedback is important and appreciated and we will all benefit from taking action to protect Del Webb.


    Michael Ferrell

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