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Tips to deter would be thieves - KOAM TV 7

Tips to deter would be thieves

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Statement from Cherokee County, Kansas Sheriff David Groves:

The wheat is being cut, kids are out and about playing and it's hot outside.

It is definitely summertime in Cherokee County!

With this time of year, also come vacations or weekend getaways for many families.

We hope you all have a safe, enjoyable summer, and also want to work to help make sure that when you return home, whether from vacation or just home from work, you don't find that your home has been burglarized and property stolen.

Our office regularly investigates an average of 10-15 burglaries each month.  While the circumstances may vary from a theft that occurred from someone's car to a residential burglary, they are all burglaries and all result in the loss of property for the victims.

For the past three months, the Sheriff's Office has investigated 14 burglaries in April, 12 burglaries in May and 11 burglaries so far in June (as of June 25th).

What we often find while conducting these investigations and interviewing suspects is there are several things that residents can do to help safeguard their property.

The following are some good tips that may help deter would be thieves:

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    • Always lock your doors and windows – even consider locking them when you're at home
    • Always lock the doors to your vehicle and never leave keys, a purse or other valuables in plain sight
    • Keep your car keys by your bedside at night.  You can activate the car alarm with the remote, should you need to draw attention to your home
    • Keep shrubbery trimmed around your home, especially around entryways and windows
    • Keep a yard light or motion light activated during nighttime hours
    • Consider looking into a home alarm system which will alert law enforcement to a potential break-in
    • Inventory your valuables
    • Take photographs of guns (with serial numbers), electronics, jewelry etc…
    • Don't hesitate to contact law enforcement if you see suspicious activity, vehicles or people in your neighborhood

There is often discussion about the first two tips with the argument being that if someone wants into your home or car, they will just break the door or window and get in anyway.  While this is true, we know from many cases and interrogations with thieves that they often target those whose doors are left unlocked and pass by secured locations. In addition, if they do force entry, the criminal will often times cut themselves on glass shards, leaving excellent DNA evidence for investigators to work with.

Another thing we can all do is keep a close eye on what is going on in our neighborhoods and contact law enforcement when we see suspicious activity.  This is not being nosey.  It's being a good neighbor; watching out for one another. 

Law enforcement would much rather respond to a suspicious activity call and find out that it was legitimate than find out later that a residence had been burglarized.  Most likely the home owner would prefer that too!

Finally, if you are planning to head out of town, let a trusted neighbor know and ask that they keep an eye on things while you're gone. 

If we all take a few steps to help keep our neighborhoods safe and secure it will increase the chances that we have a great summer!

As always, if I or my office, can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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