The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 31, 2014

Everyone has right to feel secure | Change all locks at apartment complex

JOHNSTOWN — Imagine the emotional roller coaster you would go through daily knowing that someone other than a trusted family member, friend or neighbor has a key to your house.

Imagine the fear and trepidation you would experience when you come home from work or a social engagement, slide your key into the door lock and hope and pray that all your possessions still belong to you. Or that a stranger is not lurking in the shadows, interrupted from looting your valuables by your arrival home.

Upon surveying your house, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief, knowing you’re safe – but only until you leave again.

That is probably how residents of Norwood Gardens/Edward’s Hill apartments feel.

In November, Dwight Joseph Bumford allegedly stole master keys to all the apartments in the complex from the buildings’ storage unit and entered at least five apartments when tenants were not at home.

According to police reports, several thousand dollars in cash and jewelry were stolen.

But now it has come to light that not all of the stolen keys have been recovered.

“We don’t know if we have all the keys,” West Hills police Chief Andy Havas said.

Although no other burglaries have been committed since Bumford’s arrest, residents are still on edge. And rightly so.

Who is to say that the stolen keys were not duplicated? Or that they were not passed out to other people?

According to Alan Podrasky, manager of the apartment complex, locks on apartment doors are being changed. But we must question why this was not done immediately. In our opinion, that’s the least that management should do for the jittery apartment dwellers.

Residents have a right to feel safe and secure in their residences. It’s shameful that management of the apartment complex has not done its part to guarantee that right.

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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