The number of burglaries in Carson City has jumped this year from the last two, but the thieves are also taking far less in terms of dollar value - a trend that leads Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong to put drug addiction as the root cause.
So far this year, the number of residential burglaries has risen 25 percent over the same period in 2011, and a 44 percent jump over 2010.
Deputies have taken reports on about 60 burglaries in the past 60 days.
But on the flip side, the total value of stolen goods has dropped by almost 50 percent compared with 2011 and 22 percent from 2010. Total property recovered has also risen by 26 percent and 21 percent versus 2011 and 2010, respectively, according to crime statistics compiled by the sheriff's office.
What that tells Furlong is that thieves who once raided homes for electronics are now taking smaller items - change, loose cash and trinkets.
"The value of the property is so down, it makes you think it's drug-type burglaries," Furlong said. "You're looking for that street-level drug guy."
He illustrated that point with a Fourth of July call for service where deputies met with a man standing in his front yard, gun in hand. He was tired of being victimized by a drug-addicted woman he knew and had "taken matters into his own hands," Furlong said.
"He had drawn a line," Furlong said. "He was not about to allow (the addict) back on his property."
The man and the woman's mother were simply fed up, Furlong said - a trademark of how addiction can tear at relations. It's a trend he's seen rising in the past six months to a year.
Furlong advised residents to keep an eye on their property, as well as their neighbors' property, and to report suspicious people or activities.
"We relish those phone calls," he said. "Those phone calls over the past couple of months have allowed us to make numerous arrests."
Recently, sheriff's officials have worked up a description of a burglar who has been seen entering open windows during the day and taking items that will fit in her backpack. She was described as being 5 feet 2 inches to 5-feet-4, stocky and with medium-length dark hair with possible blond highlights.
Furlong also advised residents to lock their windows and doors, including pet doors, and to call 911 if they see a burglary in progress.