"Fall-ing" victim to crime

Fall is a time for raking leaves, but it is also a time some homeowners “fall” victim to crime.

Every year around this time, Michiana police see a troubling pattern of home burglaries.

If you’re out in your backyard working and have left your front door open or unlocked, thieves can enter your house unbeknownst to you, taking things like your wallet, television, V.C.R, or D.V.D player.

Conversely, police note that it is equally important to make sure that your storage shed and garage doors are also closed and locked.

With your garage, especially if it sits in an alley, people have their lawn equipment stolen just by leaving the garage or shed door open. Police say that just by leaving that door open, somebody driving through can see it open and no one around, and take a few moments to grab a leaf blower or a snow blower and go away with your property.

While it is tempting to leave the yard work to someone else, police say it is best to leave it to someone you know. This time of year it is common to see unfamiliar faces showing up at your door. Yard work may just be a ruse to case your home.

Nine times out of ten, these people do not have a rake or shovel with them to complete the task they are asking to do for you. Police suggest homeowners hire a trusted neighborhood kid or adult that could use the work instead of a stranger coming to your house.

Oftentimes thieves will work together.

Police caution that if someone approaches you while you are working in the yard, it could be a distraction while their partner sneaks into your home or garage and rips you off.

Distractions such as earplugs or I-pods can cover up the sounds of someone breaking into your house, or someone sneaking up on you as you work. It is a good idea to leave your wallet, and other possessions locked safely in your house.

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