Benton burglaries down; Franklin burglaries up

TRI-CITIES - The KEPR Crime Tracker is focusing on home burglaries. It's one of the crimes you're more likely to be a victim of. We found that year to year -- burglaries are going up in Franklin County, but declining in Benton County.

Baking bread on a rainy afternoon - tucked away in a cozy, safe home. William Grams hopes it stays that way.

"You're always scared when something like that happens," said Benton County resident William Grams.

Criminals have targeted William's neighborhood in unincorporated Kennewick -- even assaulting a neighbor's daughter. He's now taking precautions.

"I would probably go to the closet if I could to get a shotgun," said Grams.

William was relieved to learn home burglaries are down in Benton County -- by almost ten percent. It's an even bigger decrease since five years ago -- numbers are down 30 percent. The people breaking in aren't just petty thieves -- they could be dangerous.

Benton County officials tell us it's houses like yours - that can become easy targets for gang members. Even including the gang team for some residential burglaries.

Deputies tell me they can reallocate to hot spots as necessary.

JOE: "the citizens have made us aware of them - so we're able to target a little more specifically," said Benton County Sheriff Deputy Joe Lusignan.

Across the river, it's a different story. Burglaries are up in Franklin County -- by 31 percent. In the past two weeks, R-170, Greenacres and Taylor Flats were hit. Deputies think the problem isn't growing -- it's that 2011 was such an off year. The rate of burglary then was one of the lowest in 30 years.
Still, you can be vigilant to protect your family.

"People have to be cognizant of where they are - and keep track of what's normal, what's not normal," said Grams.

Working to keep crime off the streets -- and keep your home safer.

Benton County also tells us burglaries of businesses are also on the rise. They attribute the trend to just more people -- and more places to target.