PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Property and violent crimes can spike during the middle of the day and in the middle of the week in several Phoenix-area cities, according to statistics compiled by the LexisNexis Community Crime Map website.
"Every area is different. Every neighborhood is different," said Ed Wessing, the executive commander of the Mesa Police Department.
"We have analysts that work in every one of the patrol districts that look at the crime that occurred over the past 24 hours," said Wessing. "And what they’re looking for is, do we have those hot spots? Do we have anything that’s trendable? Do we have anything that’s hitting more than one district?"
LexisNexis compiles crime reports from most Valley cities and turns them into a searchable database, which contains mapping software and other data analytics. One of the screens shows what time of day and what day of week crime spikes.
According to a search of the past month's crime reports, property crimes spiked in central Phoenix on Friday and Saturday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., as well as Thursday between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In Gilbert, property crimes spiked on weekends between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. In Goodyear, they spiked Tuesdays at 8 p.m. And in Mesa, they spike Thursdays between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Wessing says part of the reason may be groups of car thieves or burglars working together.
"We will have a crew that will come to your neighborhood, and they will walk vehicle to vehicle in the neighborhood, testing doors, testing to see who left them unlocked, who left property in unsecured vehicles," said Wessing.
Both Wessing and Sgt. Vincent Lewis from the Phoenix Police Department say one of the most important actions regular citizens can take is to limit the opportunities for criminals to strike.
"Simply keeping your yard clean and maintained and making your home lived-in is less likely to invite crime," said Lewis.
Lewis also said that the use of surveillance cameras by businesses, as well as by homeowners has helped to deter crime and helped police departments solve crimes.
"It could give us height, weight, clothing, time of day, location, mode of travel, modus operandi. All of these things are helpful with investigating and solving crime," said Lewis.