July peak season for home break-ins - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

July peak season for home break-ins

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - July is peak season for home break-ins.

With many people on vacation and homes left vacant, they're a prime target for crooks. Police and Neighborhood watch programs are fighting back and arming neighbors with the information they need to keep their homes safe.

One of the first things a thief might check is your mailbox. Mail piling up is a good sign, you're not home making you an easy target. That's why neighborhood watches and police say you don't want to let anything pile up outside side like the newspaper that might indicate you're on vacation.

Every 15 seconds an American home is broken into, costing the homeowner an average of $2,000. The East Town Neighborhood Watch says burglars hope you'll make it easy for them.

"He wants to pick a home that's an easy target, he doesn't want a home that's going to give him any problems," said Jerome Lowery, East Town Neighborhood Watch Captain.

They want you to make it difficult for criminals by cutting back shrubs and trees so your home is visible, but can't be easily accessed. Even if you're not home, you should make it seem like you are.

"Have different areas in your residence with lights coming on and off that way if someone is watching, they'll see a different light on in a different area," said Lt. James Williams.

While a privacy fence can seem like protection, it can also be a shield for crooks, that's why police say you should have someone come by while you're away.

"Make sure someone comes by the home daily, especially during the morning and afternoons to check their residence," said Williams. Thieves are also resorting to unconventional means like calling to see if you're there.

"Normally what a burglar will do, he'll call you home phone to see if you're at home and if he doesn't get an answer he's going to break into your house while you're away," said Lowery.

If you can't trust a neighbor or friend to watch your home, police will do it for you, but say few take advantage of the service.

"You want us to watch your residence while you are gone we'd be glad to do that," said Williams.

Another way police and neighborhood watch captains say crooks are covering their tracks is through loud music. If the music is up loud enough they hope neighbors won't hear glass breaking or an alarm sounding. So, if you notice a car parked along a street for a long period of time, blasting music you should call police.

This Saturday at the District Four Police Precinct on East Oglethorpe, the East Town Neighborhood Watch will offer tips on how to prevent home burglaries. For more information about that crime watch meeting you can call (229)291-3090.

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