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Goffstown selectman says more police needed

GOFFSTOWN — A selectman is calling for additional police officers in town in light of a recent rash of thefts from vehicles in Pinardville.

Police logged 20 thefts from vehicles in one overnight period last week, bringing the total number of thefts from vehicles to about 75 since the beginning of the year, according to police.

"This is a sign that we need additional manpower," said Mark Lemay, vice chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

The most recent thefts were concentrated in the area of Holly, Roy, Laurel and Edmond streets in Pinardville during the overnight hours of Aug. 13, according to a statement issued by the Goffstown Police Department.

Lemay said he has spoken with several residents in the area about the thefts, and said he hopes next year's police budget will include an increase in staff, especially in the overnight hours.

"We could comfortably use one to two more officers, just to be safer," he said.

Police Lt. Pierre Pouliot said items ranging from loose change to laptops had been taken from vehicles.

"All of the vehicles had been entered through unlocked doors," he said, noting that no signs of broken glass or other forced entry were noted.

Police Chief Patrick Sullivan said he is in the process of analyzing reports of burglaries in town, and said while there is a spike in thefts from vehicles, notably in Pinardville, he has not seen a large increase in home burglaries."We are tracking more than last year, but there is no correlation between the two," he said.

Sullivan said as more residents come into Goffstown, an increase in crime is a possibility, and urged residents to take precautions, including something as simple as locking their vehicles.

"They're not breaking car windows, they're pulling on door handles and gaining access. If it's locked, they move on to the next one," he said. "What we're trying to do is reduce the opportunity."

If anyone sees any suspicious activity, or witnesses a car break-in, Pouliot said to call police immediately and not attempt to take any action.

Residents are also asked that if they locate any items that may have been taken from their vehicles to not to touch those items but report the finding of property to the police so a proper investigation may be completed.

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