Spring Safety Message

Thursday, April 3rd 2008, 7:47 pm
By: News On 6

This is the time of year when people get outside and do yard work as well as exercise. Unfortunately, when we're out and about more often, so are the criminals.

Whenever I drive through neighborhoods (even my own), I see many garage doors open. I've covered stories where someone has been doing yard work and a thief sneaks into the house through the garage and steal s money, wallets or prescription drugs. I know it's a pain, but, you need to put the door down and take a garage door opener with you, even if you're planting flowers or mowing the yard. You'll have to open and close it each time you need to go back inside for mulch or other supplies. I interviewed a man once who lost an entire Craftsman tool chest from his garage. He was mowing in the side yard and the criminal walked in, pushed the tool chest down the driveway to the street, loaded it up and left. I interviewed a woman who was mowing right next to her garage, but, someone managed to walk in, open her car door and find her purse. They took it and she never saw them.

Sometimes, people leave garage doors open a little for pets. This is also unsafe. It allows enough space for a criminal to crawl under and come inside. Not only will they steal things from your garage, but, people frequently don't lock the door between the house and garage and they'll come right in. Most know women leave their purse sitting on a kitchen or dining room table. That gives them something  quick and easy to grab with big reward.

There's also been a rash lately of burglars breaking into cars and stealing things like GPS units, golf clubs, tools, etc. Many women think it's safe to tuck their purse under the seat of the car before they park, hop out and go for a jog. Believe me, criminals know to look under the seat. This is not a safe place to keep it, ever. Don't leave anything visible inside your car. Remove everything you can before getting out of your car, whether you're parked at a hotel, apartment, park or swimming area.

 If you want to put your purse in your trunk, do so before you arrive at your location. Otherwise, criminals will see watch you leave, break your window, pop the trunk latch and take it.

I have covered hundreds of these types of crimes in the past 16 years. It's nothing new, but, it is largely preventable.  Yes, it's a hassle for us and yes, we shouldn't have to do it. People should keep their mitts off our property. But, the reality is, it happens. Plus, it's a big hassle and frustration to deal with the aftermath of a break-in. Do what you can, up front, to protect yourself and the property you work so hard to buy.