Residence Receive 'Security Survey' From Owasso Police
OWASSO, Oklahoma - With rising theft reports from yards and garages, police are trying to educate people on how to avoid being a victim.
There are more than 60 neighborhoods in Owasso, and every Thursday an officer picks a neighborhood to conduct a security survey - looking for unattended, easy to steal items.
So far they've completed 16 neighborhoods.
It only takes a few seconds for crooks to slip in and out with your valuables and, police said, in the summertime, it's normal for the cases of theft and car burglaries to go up.
But they say with just a little extra attention you could lower your chances of becoming a victim.
For the patrol through Owasso's Chelsea Park subdivision, Sergeant Mike Barnes looked at things as a crook would.
"Thieves are looking for a quick opportunity, a quick easy opportunity. They would drive by something like that [an open garage door], drive through the neighborhood, come back, run up there, grab it, throw it in the car and take off," he said.
For a fast crook, getting away with a bicycle, power tools or lawn equipment can take less than ten seconds.
Just like that, your hard earned items are gone in the time it takes for a short trip back in the house or a quick ride up the road.
"We've noticed, while our officers have been on patrol, they'll drive through neighborhoods and people left their garage doors open with expensive lawn mowers, power tools and golf clubs, different things like that," Barnes said.
It’s homes like that, that officers don’t want to see while on patrol.
"We’re trying to just make sure everyone is aware that your garage door is open and to keep it closed, even during the day, cause that'll keep someone from stealing something out of it,” Barnes told one homeowner.
Jerry Spencer lives in another Owasso neighborhood. He said he's happy to see patrols but will continue to do his part.
“Everybody just needs to be aware, and vigilant and use common sense you - see a strange vehicle, question it, you see strange people, question it,” he said.
Trailers are also popular among thieves.
Police say to lock up your trailer in a garage or behind a locked fence, and if that isn't an option, you should invest in wheel locks or locks that prevent people from attaching the hitch to a truck.
They also say you should lock your doors and take your valuables inside.