Police, members of Lehighton Borough Council, and citizens in general in Lehighton are a little restless these days.

Three burglaries occurred within several days in the West end of the town. The burglars very boldly broke into homes while the victims were asleep.

It brings concerns of whether the burglars were prepared for confrontation with the tenants, and what the result would have been.

Corporal Neal Ebbert of the Lehighton Police Department agreed that police need help from the public not only in solving these burglaries, but in preventing more from occurring.

"As I stressed, people need to call if they see something suspicious as soon as they see it," he said. He explained that too often people wait until the following day to let police know of suspicious activity, and then it's often too late to do anything about it.

He also urged that people keep an outside light on. This makes it easier for neighbors or police to observe suspicious activity, and it serves as a deterrent for some burglars.

Other communities in the area have also experienced burglaries in recent months. Especially when the economy is bad, criminal activity increases.

Hiding from or ignoring the problem won't stop it from happening. Only catching the culprits and prosecuting them can let residents again get a good night's sleep.

The loss of material things is certainly a concern during burglaries, as is the property damage that occurs during the break-in. But the fact that the burglars in Lehighton are entering houses while they're occupied says there is a potential for violence - and, of course, injury.

Lehighton police are committed to apprehending the individuals involved in the burglaries. At the direction of Lehighton Borough Council, they're working hard on the cases as well as trying to educate the public how to prevent such break-ins.

Whether you live in Lehighton or somewhere else, it's important that you help the police by reporting suspicious happenings. Also, be willing to testify if individuals are arrested through your efforts.

Apathy and fear are elements that play in favor of burglars. They love making others afraid. It empowers them.

Instead of empowering them, we must do all we can to disable them.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com