Tough economy could trigger more break-ins
Thieves likely are planning to work overtime during the next three weeks.
"This is probably our most active time of the year right before the major holidays," said Leavenworth County sheriff's Sgt. Charlie Yates. "Of course, the economy has a lot to do with the trends on burglaries. The economy is showing signs of stalling, and that increases the call load for burglaries in our area."
Yates said that he and his officers depend on area residents to help curtail break-ins. He encourages anyone who notices a suspicious vehicle near their home to call the sheriff's office or the police department.
"They don't want to bother us," he said. "But if they give us a call, we'll go check it out."
Yates said it's important for residents to secure their homes before they leave each morning. The majority of burglaries in the county, he said, occur during the day.
"I'd keep the window shades pulled so nobody can actually see inside the residence," he said.
And he encourages people to get to know their neighbors, who can help keep an eye on homes.
Yates offered these additional suggestions:
Keep bushes around windows and doors trimmed. Don't create a welcoming habitat for burglars. "Most of our burglaries will hit the front door or back door, physically kick them in," Yates said. "They're in or out before you know it." So, he said, residents don't want to create places for burglars to hide. If you have a gate at the end of your driveway, use it.
Stop delivery of newspapers and mail if you're going to be gone for several days. And have someone check your home periodically. "We're having a problem periodically with mail thefts," Yates said. "That could be a real nightmare if they get hold of personal numbers, such as Social Security numbers."
Consider installing motion-detection lights even though most rural residential burglaries occur during the day. "The motion lights would alert the person who is trying to gain entry that someone might have flipped a light on," Yates said.