Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crime Prevention Bulletin
It has come to the attention of your Crime Prevention Officer that there has been an increase in the number of "Pan Handlers" in your neighborhood. This increase may be attributed to residents giving money to these individuals as well as leaving returnable cans and bottles out in the open for "bottle collectors" to pick up.

While I'm certain that this is done with the best of intentions, it is not uncommon for "Pan Handlers" and "bottle collectors" to commit crimes of opportunity such as burglary, larceny and robbery while in your neighborhood soliciting handouts. Furthermore, some habitual burglars use the guise of "bottle collector" to conduct surveillance on their potential targets.

Pan Handling in itself is not illegal, however Aggressive Pan Handling is a violation of Rochester City Code 44-4. This Municipal code states:
"No person shall solicit in an aggressive manner in a public place."
SOLICIT- shall include the spoken, written or printed word or such other acts or bodily gestures as are conducted in the furtherance of immediately obtaining money or any other thing of value.
AGGRESSIVE MANNER shall be defined as: (condensed version)
- Intentionally or recklessly touching another person or approaching within an arms length, without consent during a solicitation.
- Following the person being solicited, if that conduct is likely to cause imminent fear or intimidation of a criminal act against them.
- Continuing to solicit within five feet of a person who has responded negatively, if that conduct is likely to cause fear or intimidation.
Intentionally or recklessly blocking the safe or free passage of the person being solicited, or requiring the person or driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact with the solicitor.
- Intentionally or recklessly using words likely to cause a reasonable person fear or intimidation.
- Approaching a person in such a manner as to cause fear or intimidation

In addition, the Rochester Police Department would like to remind all residents of this neighborhood to follow these basic tips to deter crime:
1. Report to 911 immediately all suspicious activity such as persons loitering, going door to door, or the sound of glass breaking.
2. Report any attempt to break into your house or garage, such as cuts on your window screens near the locks.
3. Keep your doors, windows and garages locked when not at home (even when in the yard or at a neighbors).
4. Install and use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
5. Notify a neighbor when you are going to be away.
6. Discontinue newspaper delivery when going on vacation.
7. Keep outside lights on all night or use motion sensor lights all around your home.
8. Trim shrubs to deny burglars a hiding place, especially shrubs around windows.
9. Lock up ladders and trash toters where they cannot be used by a burglar.
10. Don’t leave returnable cans etc. out for the "homeless".
11. Never open your door for a stranger.

Be a good neighbor…watch your neighbors' property.

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