Neighborhood Crime: Snow blower thefts

When the snow falls, you can hear the buzz of snow blowers throughout Michiana. Snow blowers are in huge demand this time of year, which is why they often disappear from places other than store shelves.

Snow blowers are popular among thieves, and police say they see a spike in snow blower thefts when the snow hits. There are ways you can leave the crooks out in the cold.

When the snow hits Michiana, police say thieves hit the snow blowers.

“Typically when the snow's flying, yeah, they are a popular target,” says Lt. Patrick Hechlinski a SBPD Crime Prevention Specialist.

One common mistake is homeowners simply leave snow blowers out for the taking.

You get your snow blower out, do your snow blowing and when you are done, put it away right away,” says Lt. Hechlinski. “Some people like to leave it out, clean it off or go inside for a few minutes and they just leave it sitting out. It just takes a few minutes for somebody to come up and take that and then you are without it.”

Hechlinski says some thieves are even bolder, simply going in to your garage or shed and taking it. He says you need to harden the target.

“If you do have a garage door and the lock is not working properly I would suggest you repair that lock so you have a functioning lock to keep people out,” explains Lt. Hechlinski. “Number two, if you really feel like you need an added layer of protection then you can maybe go about chaining it through one of the walls or chaining it up to some other equipment you have and that will make it much more difficult for some to steal it from you.”

Hechlinski also suggests marking your snow blower.

“If you take a few minutes to write down the make, model and serial number, just keep that on hand,” says Lt. Hechlinski. “If you want to go a step further, you can get an engraver and engrave your Indiana driver's license or ID card number down, somewhere on that property as well because that is another method of identification that we can run through the computer and come up with a name an address of who it belongs to.”

Another advantage of marking your snow blower is thieves may not want to go to the trouble of removing an engraving or trying to cover it up, so they may leave it alone. It may also make it harder to sell to someone or a pawn shop.

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