Thieves especially active during summer

The kids are finally out of school, and the temperatures are on the rise.

It's summer break around Michiana, but some folks won't be taking a break at all.

In fact, this is their busy season.

And that could be bad news for you and your valuables.

While you're out working hard in the yard, others are working hard to get their hands on your yard equipment.

SBPD Crime Prevention Specialist Lt. Patrick Hechlinski says summer is prime season for thieves.

“Typically this time of year, the weather's warming up so people are going to be outside gearing up for their yard work, so some of our standard crimes that we typically see cropping up this time of year...people go out in the yard, they leave the garage door open,” warns Hechlinski. “Keep an eye on the lawnmower, the leaf blower, picking up the leaves you didn't get in the fall, the weed whacker and some of the other equipment you might have handy.”

Besides making off with your outdoor items, thieves will also target valuables inside your home, since they may have better access.

“It might be nice to open up the windows and doors and let the house air out but if you're working in the back yard, just make sure you keep the front door locked. You don't want somebody coming up there letting themselves in while you're working in the back yard and taking something when you're not aware of it,” said Hechlinski.

Some of the biggest offenders are home improvement scammers who come to your door.

“You might have someone who comes up to your door and says ‘well, I think you have
a problem with your roof, can I have you come outside with me and let me show you what I'm looking at?’ and while you’re doing that, there could conceivably be somebody in the car waiting to go in the front door while you're on the side of the house and maybe take something," he explained.

Hechlinski says, as a rule, home improvement projects should be initiated by you and not by people who show up at your door.

And speaking of doors and windows, there are times they should always be closed and locked.

“Just make sure that you remember to lock up after yourself when you either go to bed in the evening or when you’re leaving for a few hours.”

It only takes a thief a few minutes to clean you out.

Summer break is also a time when kids can get into trouble.

So, don't forget about curfew.

Check with your local police department for curfew hours in your city or town.

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