How to keep from falling victim to burglars

Autumn – the kids are back in school, and the leaves are starting to fall.

And while homeowners are busy raking those leaves, thieves are also looking to rake in some cash. Autumn is a time when many homeowners fall victim to burglary.

While you are out in your yard this fall, make sure someone is not cleaning out the valuables from your home.

“We've had cases where a burglary has been committed when the homeowner is on their property, perhaps out in the back of the yard raking leaves perhaps cutting the grass, doing something on the other end of the house,” said Lt. Cindy Kilgore. “So always keep in mind that someone could be walking around checking for an unlocked door or unlocked window or an open garage door to take out your lawnmower or whatever is accessible quickly.”

Kilgore says thieves often work in teams where one person will distract you while the other sneaks in a door or window on the other side of the house.

So when you are outside, lock you doors and close your garage door. If your car is outside, always keep your doors locked and your valuables out of sight.

Last month, we told you about a rash of burglaries in southern St. Joseph County. Almost all were committed in broad daylight while the homeowner was working.

With school back in session, your home is even more vulnerable in the fall.

“You know, it's tried and true,” said Kilgore. “Every year, you can see predictable patterns with homeowners, and this is what the criminals are zeroing in on.”

And while you may be tempted to leave the yardwork to somebody else, 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. Police say that burglars may be simply casing your home under the guise of doing yard work.

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