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Summertime Crime - Don’t Be A Victim

Maria Contreras Marketing Manager, Consumers Credit Union
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The month of June brings warmer weather and all the signs of summer. Unfortunately, the warmer weather also brings “summertime crime”. Many studies have confirmed what police officers, emergency room doctors, and news reporters have claimed for years. As temperatures increase, so does the crime rate. So as you plan your summer activities, you should also plan your strategy for protecting your home, car, and personal safety.

Some studies show that burglaries, robberies, and vandalism may increase because of school summer breaks. During this time period more teenagers have more unsupervised free time. Other studies seem to blame the increase in crime on the increase of opportunity. More people gather together for outdoor events. People in large groups are more vulnerable to muggers and pickpockets, who make an easy getaway by blending into the crowd.

Don’t let your guard down, theft is a crime of opportunity. During the summer months would-be thieves are on the lookout for items which can be easily taken in moments. Unlocked doors, open windows, and open garage doors all provide a temptation to steal valuables left in plain view. Blooming trees and overgrown shrubs can provide would-be burglars a great place to hide.

Don’t make it easy to be a victim!

  1. Install lighting, such as motion lights or dusk to dawn detector lights, on your home’s exterior.
  2. Trim shrubbery around your home to eliminate hiding places.
  3. Your address should be clearly visible from the street for emergency and identification purposes.
  4. Close and lock your garage door when you are not nearby. Place valuables stored in the garage in a locking device not visible from the street when the garage door is open.
  5. If you sleep on the second floor of your home, keep all first floor doors and windows closed and locked.
  6. Be aware of your surroundings and those around you when you walk, jog, or bike.
  7. Stop all deliveries of mail and newspapers when on vacation.
  8. Don’t discuss your vacation plans at the grocery store, gym, etc. You never know who might be listening.
  9. Use timers to light your home inside and outside.
  10. Ask a trusted neighbor to pick up flyers or other publications that might be left while you are away.

These are just a few simple steps that will help you avoid summertime crime. For more personal and home safety tips, check out the websites of your local police station or city government. Worrying about crime prevention may be the last thing on your mind as you head out for summer fun, but a little preparation can go a long way in ensuring you don’t become a victim of opportunity.