Burglaries rise with temperatures

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 3, 2016

SECURITY: William Pierce with a local retail store describes a security option. Shoppers will want to do their research to buy the best option for their budget.  Photo by Jeremy Pittari

SECURITY: William Pierce with a local retail store describes a security option. Shoppers will want to do their research to buy the best option for their budget.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

As summer comes into full swing, more than the heat begins to rise; local law enforcement agencies report that incidents of burglaries also increase.
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said over the past weekend, there were three reports of homes being burgled.
Two of those cases were reported on May 28. The first report came in at about 11 a.m. and occurred on Daisy Andrews Road in Nicholson. Tucker said the homeowners told officers that it was possible they left the door unlocked, leaving easy access for the suspect. The couple left the day before to run an errand, so they believed the intruder made access while they were away. While they came back that same evening, they didn’t report the crime until the next morning because only a few items were missing, and they wanted to be sure they were not misplaced before reporting it to the sheriff’s department. Items taken during the burglary include a jewelry box, two watches and three rings, Tucker said.
The second report of a burglary came in at 8:15 that same morning, this time at a home in the 400 block of Whitesand Road. Residents of the home found the back door pried open and the majority of the rooms in the home ransacked, especially the bedrooms. Tucker said the residents noticed only two rings had been stolen.
The third incident was called in on May 30 at 4 p.m. and occurred at the 100 block of Margaret Street in Nicholson. This time the residents noticed the key outside the home was missing from its hiding place and the culprit had taken their laptop computer along with a .22 caliber revolver.
Investigators are working to establish suspects in these cases, Tucker said.
There are some things residents can do to minimize their risk of being a burglary victim, Tucker said. First, be sure all doors and windows are locked. The same goes for sheds and garages.
If the home has a window-mounted air conditioner, be sure it is secured to the window frame. Tucker said many of the burglaries they work involved the suspect removing the window unit in order to gain easy access to the home.
Since most people are not home during the day, most burglaries occur during that time. However, Tucker said that having adequate lighting around the home is essential to deter break-ins at night.
For those considering a summer vacation, invest in some timers for the interior and exterior lights.
“If you’re out of town or gone for the evening, those timers are good to have,” Tucker said.
If the family is considering a vacation, Tucker said waiting until the trip is done before posting pictures to social media will prevent the home from becoming an easy target. Telling friends and family via social media that the home is unoccupied also alerts those looking for an easy target.
Additionally, security systems are a wise investment. Tucker said there are a lot of options; some even have network access allowing the resident to see the person knocking at their door, even if they are not home, via a cellphone application.
If money is a factor, game cameras can provide an inexpensive security solution. Tucker said it is best to install these devices in well-hidden areas with a good view of key points to the home.
Summer is also a time of year when lawnmowers and recreational vehicles are stolen. Tucker said it’s best not to leave ignition keys in them, especially if an ATV has to be left at a camp or other place that is unoccupied for extended periods. If bringing the vehicle home in such a case is not an option, consider chaining them to a stationary object.
“Anything you can do to make things a little more difficult for the bad guys,” Tucker said.
Tucker said most people store their valuables in the same place, their bedroom or in a safe in the bedroom. He said that while safes are great places to store valuables, be sure the safe is fastened to the floor. It is also wise to find a place other than a bedroom to store valuables within the home.
If the home is burgled, report the crime immediately. Tucker said that the longer it takes for a crime to be reported, the harder it is to solve.
Other things that can help detectives solve a crime faster include having records of serial numbers and photographs of jewelry. If the property does not have a serial number, it can be engraved with an identifying mark, such as initials. These records should be kept in a safe place where they won’t be taken by intruders. It’s also a good idea to provide copies of that information to family or trusted friends.

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