Berkeley police released map of time and location of recent burglaries. Map: BPD

In the last week, there have been an inordinately high number of burglaries in the north Berkeley hills, and police are warning residents to be sure to lock their doors and shut their windows.

At least nine houses were burglarized from September 5 to 11 from noon to 6 pm, according to a newsletter sent out by Officer Byron White, the operations division Area 1 crime coordinator. Police are not sure if the burglaries are being done by one or more people.

Burglars often enter a house and take easy to carry items, like laptops, cell phones, cameras, and money.

Police are recommending take the following steps to deter burglars:

Make sure you secure all of your doors and windows
Over half of the reported burglaries reported involved an unlocked door or window.  You should also consider photographing and recording the serial numbers of your valuable items.

Increase natural surveillance
Make certain the lighting at entryways are lit from dusk to dawn.  Criminals do not want to be exposed.  Do not let criminals have a place to hide in the darkness.

Territorial reinforcement
Make it clear in your neighborhood that the community is watching through signs, notices, and postings.  Crimes happen when you have a motivated offender, a suitable victim, and there is no one to watch what is going on.

Keeping up properties, cleaning off graffiti, etc are all ways a potential criminal will know that people in the community are watching/caring about the neighborhood.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...