Prevent seasonal crime by taking some simple precautions

Springtime brings warmer weather, longer day-light hours, and — unfortunately — the need to be more vigilant about crime prevention. Inevitably, as the weather gets warmer it is more likely that certain crimes will occur.

“Garage burglaries increase in the summer.” said Capt. Steve Wills, of the Woodbury police department, “because people leave their garages open while working or playing in the yard and then forget to close them at night. A burglar is very tempted when he sees golf clubs and tools in an open garage at a time when the owner is probably sleeping.”

Another tempting target is your car parked on the street or in the driveway — especially if it contains high end stereo equipment, exposed CDs or CD cases, purses, wallets laptops or other items of value left in plain view for criminals to see.

As the temperature rises vandalism also tends to increase,” said Wills. “People are outside and they stay out later. Sometimes they commit minor pranks, but often these pranks escalate to more serious damage.”

Safety reminders
Preventing most of these crimes can be simple. Most people know what precautions to take, but how many consistently practice those precautions? Following are a few reminders for a safer spring and summer:
• Close and lock the overhead garage door and garage service door when you are not in or near the garage.
• Close and lock windows at night and when you are not at home. Keep doors closed and locked when you go to bed.
• Lock your front doors when working in the back yard (and vice versa).
• Don’t leave bicycles and other valuable items unattended, even in the front yard or open garage.
• Always roll up car windows and lock car doors. Avoid leaving packages or other items of value in an open car even if you are “just running in for a minute or two.” Never leave the ignition key for the car inside it. Park inside at night, if possible.
• If you suffer minor, seemingly insignificant, vandalism to your home or property, don’t hesitate to call police. Vandalism is often a problem of escalation. Individuals getting away with minor pranks often cause more substantial damage later.
• Light up the outside of your house from dusk until dawn.
• Report suspicious persons or situations to the police immediately. If possible, jot down the license number from vehicles and the direction of travel.

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