WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With the kickoff of summer, it’s also the time of year for burglars to find easy targets.
“Well, when the weather warms up we see an increase in all types of crime,” says Lin Dehning, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department. “Burglaries being one of them.”
Dehning says they have seen an increase in burglaries recently, particularly cars. It comes just one week after the city of Newton put out an alert for residents to lock their doors in the wake of a recent rash of burglaries.
“There are any number of things people can do to secure their property from burglaries. Better locks on the doors, we talked about closing garage doors, just closing your doors if nothing else. But locking them is always a good thing,” explains Dehning. “And since it’s daylight longer, people are outside working on stuff and they tend to go in and leave their garage doors open. So that’s always a problem where someone will just walk right in and steal tools or power tools or anything like that right out of the garage.”
While Dehning does not have exact numbers tallied on the increase in burglaries, he says farm equipment is also easy target. And, while he knows it’s often a pain to lock up vehicles during busy planting and harvest times, the simple act of locking something up can deter burglars who are looking for an easy theft.
“If you have a farm truck out there, don’t leave the keys in it,” explains Dehning. “I know a lot of times it’s hard to tell people out in the county when they have multiple vehicles they are working with to lock them up. But at least don’t leave the keys in them.”
And with warmer weather here, sheriff’s officers say you should resist the temptation to leave car windows down. Just leave them up. And, they say, some burglaries happen when thieves simply see something they want.
“A lot of people leave cars unlocked, and it’s easy to steal things that way or steal a car itself,” says Dehning. “If you leave something laying out in your car that looks like it’s of value, it makes somebody who’s looking for stuff to steal want to break that window and grab whatever that is purses being a big one.”
Finally, Dehning has advice on catching a burglar. He says to let officers handle it. If you see a burglary in progress, he says you should just call 911.
“Then, get a direction of travel if they take off let us know what they look like, what they are driving,” says Dehning. “If you can get a tag number, that’s great. And let us know what direction they are going so we can try to find them.”