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Burglars hit 12 churches in Anaheim

Burglars are prying and smashing their way into churches across the city and county, stealing donation boxes, guitars, computers and other valuables, police said.

There have been 12 such burglaries in Anaheim since January – and nine since April, said Sgt. Jim Cossin.

The burglars aren’t just hitting Anaheim churches. Santa Ana, Irvine and other cities have reported similar crimes. Santa Ana Police recently made an arrest, and Cossin said police have video that shows that one of the suspects in the Santa Ana caper is involved in at least one of the Anaheim burglaries.

Church burglaries weren’t the only issue on the agenda at the police department’s monthly crime analysis meeting.  There’s been a series of auto burglaries, commercial burglaries are up and there have been more reported rapes this year than last, though detectives in most of the cases say the victims knew the perpetrator.

But the overall crime picture is relatively good, when all things are considered. Violent crime is down, and property crime is up but just slightly.

But officers are busy. There have been 43,690 calls for service in 2013, up 2 percent from the same time period last year.

Also on the agenda: the sharing of crime information.

Interim Police Chief Raul Quezada said the crime analysis department will be soon adding more crime data to the police department’s website. He asked for suggestions on what type of information to add.

Among the ideas: traffic citations, DUI arrests, collisions, response times and Anaheim’s most wanted.