Chart shows overall property crime incidents for Idyllwild area from 2009 to February 2012.

On Wednesday Feb. 22, sometime after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. the next morning, burglars struck two more locations in Idyllwild, adding to a significant recent increase in felony crimes against property in the Idyllwild area.

In all of 2011, based on incident reports on file with the Town Crier from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Hemet Station, there were 23 felony crimes to property in Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Mountain Center. These crimes included burglary, attempted burglary, grand theft, vehicle burglary, vehicle theft, and felony vandalism (damage exceeding $400). Reports on file with the paper may not be a complete list of all incidents.

But from Oct. 1, 2011 through Feb. 24, 2012, in only a 20-week period, there were 22 reported felony crimes to property. By comparison, in all of 2010 there were 17 reported felony property crimes and in 2009 there were 11.

Hit on Wednesday night were Idyllwild Town Crier coin-operated newspaper vending racks at two separate locations and five vehicles at the Idyllwild Trailer Park on Highway 243. Perpetrators, numbering at least two, removed newspaper vending racks from in front of the Town Crier and the Post Office and broke into the coin storage bins. A deputy from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Hemet Station responded within 35 minutes of the Wednesday morning call reporting the crime, and dusted both vending machines for fingerprints.

At the Idyllwild Trailer Park, perpetrators rifled through five vehicles, but from only one did they steal items significantly valuable to categorize the crime as felony burglary of a vehicle. Deputies also responded to the trailer park on Wednesday after the burglaries were discovered.

The sheriff’s department reminds residents to lock house and car doors and report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. Emergency in-progress or life threatening incidents should be reported to 911. Non-emergency incidents, such as a subsequent discovery of a crime, can be reported to (951) 776-1099.

The Town Crier is beginning to build a file of reported criminal property crime incidents, much as the paper did when a rash of identity thefts struck the town in Oct. 2010. Send an e-mail to [email protected] or call (951) 659-2145 and ask for Marshall Smith. It is important to file a report with the sheriff's department. Please supply the Town Crier with the report number when you call or e-mail.