``Burglaries are up 26% in Modesto since a year ago, and the officers say this has to do with the relentless assaults on foreclosed homes. "We're seeing a shift in crimes," Bublak says, noting that people used to just steal property from the outside. Now, in addition to vandalizing the property, stripping its bones and using the yard as a dumping ground, thieves have zeroed in on the homes' utilities. "Forty percent of foreclosed homes in Modesto get their power stolen," says the Modesto Irrigation District's Louis Maceira,who can often be found locking or removing meters from these homes.''

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