Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
Allen police say the city's burglary rate has fallen since it started its progressive policing program, which is designed to address property crime with more urgency.
Allen police have implemented a new program designed to address property crime.
The progressive policing program is designed to address crimes such as burglaries with more urgency and hopefully catch the people responsible and recover the stolen items.
"What used to take days now takes hours," Allen police spokesman Sgt. Jon Felty said.
During the holiday season, reports could pile up. Allen normally would get up to two dozen burglary reports from homes or cars each month. But since starting the progressive policing program in late October, burglaries are on the decline.
"We've had one in the last seven weeks, and it was solved within 48 hours," Felty said.
The victim in that case, Janna Crumbs, said her expectations were not very high when she called police to report that several pieces of lawn equipment had been stolen from her backyard shed.
"Usually when things like that are stolen, you do not see them again," she said.
But two officers responded to the call and, within minutes, two more joined them.
Her lawn equipment was found in neighboring McKinney. Crumb said the arrest went well beyond her expectations.
"Normally in those instances, even on a house burglary or car vandalism, you usually don't catch the people, so I'm amazed," she said. "It was a really good thing that they did."
Previously, a single officer would take a report for property crimes. The paperwork would be returned to the department, a supervisor would review it, and then the case would be assigned to a detective. All of that could take up to three days.
Property cases now are treated no differently than crimes against people. A minimum of four officers work as an investigative team, including a K-9 unit, to quickly push property cases forward quickly.
"You've got people while the investigation is going on on the street, warrants are being prepared, affidavits are being prepared," Felty said. "We've just made the process faster."
Allen police say each property crime is treated as if it's part of a series of offenses because criminals will return to the area again and again if communities experience one successful burglary.
Police have arrested 13 burglary and robbery suspects, all repeat offenders.