Homes are being broken into at a record pace in Keene, New Hampshire and police believe the problem stems from the state’s heroin epidemic. Although the break-ins span the city, over 70% of them have occurred in a specific area; this points to the possibility that the burglaries are related.
Heroin abuse has been sweeping the nation as a cheap and easy-to-come-by alternative for expensive prescription pills. Both drug companies and state lawmakers have been working to stop prescription drug abuse. There has been a sizeable dent in the instance of pill addiction, but heroin use has replaced the problem and because it is much more addictive, crimes like burglary are on the rise.
The heroin problem in Keene resulted in at least six deaths in 2013, a majority of drug deaths. Only about 5% of drug investigations deal with drugs other than heroin or painkillers. The problem has become so serious; it has prompted the city council to call for Keene officials to take action against the growing epidemic.
The burglaries in Keene have escalated from the petty automobile burglaries to the more serious home invasions. Burglars have discovered that they can procure a more expensive take from peoples’ homes. Police and residents agree that the break-ins are probably related to drug addiction; burglary has become one of the common crimes in Keene in the last few years. Some houses are easy targets because they are in rural areas far from neighbors. Although there have not been any arrests in connection with the recent rash of break-ins, some residents from neighboring states have been responsible for burglaries in the past.