Brian Fedorchak glanced through his window Thursday afternoon when he heard a commotion outside his home on Roper Avenue.
A small group of neighbors had gathered in his front yard, talking animatedly amongst themselves.
Two men had been rummaging through a car not too far from Fedorchak’s home, and while some neighbors had given chase to the two suspects, both burglars were still on the loose.
This was not the first time this week a Lodi resident had fallen victim to a burglary. In fact, a recent rash of reported burglaries and thefts have plagued Lodi over the past four to six weeks — and according to police, it is becoming a bigger problem by the day.
Since Dec. 1, 2011, dozens of calls have come in to the police department, more than 20 people have been arrested on charges of burglary or attempted burglary, and roughly 13 people have been arrested on charges of shoplifting or petty theft.
In the past week alone, seven people have been arrested on charges of burglary or attempted burglary and two people have been arrested on charges of petty theft.
Those numbers, however, only reflect a fraction of the number of reported burglaries or thefts to the police department every day.
On Wednesday alone, roughly a dozen reports of burglaries, burglary alarms or thefts were reported in the police logbook. A majority of those crimes are noted as “delayed,” because often those who report burglaries or thefts are not home or in their place of business when the crime occurs.
But on Thursday, it became clear that Lodi residents are not willing to wait to try and help prevent more people from becoming burglary victims.
Leaving his half-eaten sandwich inside, Fedorchak rallied with the group that stood by his driveway to see what could be done next.
Fedorchak, who said his wife’s car had been broken into not too long ago, wanted to help.
“Fortunately, nothing was taken (from her car),” he said of his wife’s recent encounter with crime. “... I figured now was as good a time as any to try and help out.”
So, either by car or by foot, the small group of men from a neighborhood on the 600 block of Roper Avenue went in search of the suspects.
And even when Lodi police arrived with a K-9 unit, the men did not, would not, stop.
With police, they continued to search, providing details of what they had seen and where they had searched.
Anything to catch those guys.
Police did apprehend at least one of the suspects Thursday afternoon — he was taken into custody near Lodi Lake — but it was unclear as of press time whether a second person who was detained later Thursday afternoon was taken into custody in relation to the attempted car burglary.
With this string of brazen burglaries, police are warning Lodi residents to take all precautions necessary.
“Don’t leave anything out in your cars’ seats, and lock your doors,” said Sgt. David Griffin of the Lodi Police Department. “Do not leave anything in your front or side yard. Motion and porch lights are always a good idea. If you leave your porch light on, you can see out, especially if you think something may be going on.”
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.