Lafayette Police Chief address spike in crime at special meeting with residents

LAFAYETTE, Calif. (KGO) -- It's rare to have a home invasion in Lafayette, says Police Chief Ben Alldritt, especially so close together.

"Prior to October, we were tackling about five residential burglaries for the year. Between October and November, we have now reached 15," says Chief Alldritt, speaking at a special city council meeting, which was designed to be an open dialogue with residents.

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That includes the most recent home robbery from the week of Thanksgiving when three suspects armed with a gun tied up two residents and made off with valuables. Wednesday night's special city council meeting was a chance for the community to get involved and speak directly with the police chief.

"The past 30 to 45 days have been an unfortunate period in Lafayette," says Rees Morgan, with the city's Crime Prevention Commission, who also spoke at the meeting.

Many residents wanted answers for the spike in robberies over that period.

"These last two robberies seem to be much higher risk kind of robbers, people willing to go a much different level," explains one resident who spoke during public comment.

Some offered suggestions as to where they want more police patrols, while others spoke of the benefits of installing a home security system.

Tom Gilmore, who has lived in Lafayette for more than 20 years, wanted an update on the recent home invasions, however, understand the chief can't share much on an open investigation.

"It was very informational. I have to say I did appreciate the city council and the chief of police coming and being as open I guess they could have been," says Gilmore.

The chief explained that one of the challenges his department faces is that the majority of the crimes are committed by people who don't live in the area. He also spoke of the community's role in helping tackle crime.

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"We get multiple calls a day that something looks suspicious, whether it's a car or whether it's a person walking down a street. We really like that partnership, we really appreciate it. It gives us a better chance at deterring crime, preventing it and or stopping it," says Chief Alldritt.

Chief Alldritt says security cameras have been extremely effective, not just as a deterrent but also as a form of evidence.

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