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Meeting to help stem business burglaries

TURNERS FALLS — In the face of a sporadically recurring rash of break-ins mainly targeting downtown businesses, the Montague Business Association will host a meeting Tuesday morning with the chief of police and others to discuss crime and prevention.

According to the association, residents and the business community are invited for presentations by the chief and Stephan Smith from A.H. Rist Insurance, a member of the association’s steering committee.

Burglaries and evidence of attempted break-ins have come in occasional two- and three-day bursts over the past year, usually overnight during weekends.

Break-ins in Turners Falls and Greenfield over the past year have resulted in several arrests of suspects the Montague police have linked to the Turners Falls crimes.

Montague Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge III said two local men suspected in many of the Turners Falls break-ins are currently in jail, one arrested on an unrelated warrant and the other charged in relation to two December break-ins on Avenue A.

Dodge said he and community policing officer Michael Sevene will present tips.

“We want to demonstrate some little things they can do to make their business more secure, some inexpensive things that they can do, as well as some expensive things,” Dodge said.

An example on the inexpensive end is installation of a motion-sensitive light switch to call attention to any late-night disturbance.

“If you open up the door or window and break that beam, the lights come on and especially the businesses, most of them have large windows that are easy to see into for the guys on patrol,” Dodge said.

Here are a few details that may be helpful if you'd like to attend this Montague Business Association meeting. Date and time: Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 8-9 a.m. Location: Community Room of the Montague Public Safety Complex on Turnpike Road. All Montague businesses and community members are welcome.

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