The Curry Coastal Pilot

With an increase in burglaries of unlocked cars and homes in both Curry and Del Norte counties, it only make sense to do the obvious: Lock up your homes and vehicles.

If you notice suspicious activity in your neighborhood andndash; unfamiliar people walking on your street or vehicles with people sitting inside parked for hours at a time andndash; notify authorities via the non-emergency line.

Earlier this week, an attentive Harbor resident noticed a truck parked outside a home vacated by their neighbor three months earlier. Several people were hauling items from the house into the waiting truck. A sheriff deputy responded, determining the people had a legitimate reason to be on the property. Next time the deputy might catch them in the act.

Living in a semi-rural area, it's easy to become complacent when it comes to protecting our possessions, but many of today's burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Don't give criminals the opportunity.

Besides unlocked doors, would-be burglars are targeting second homes that are often left unused for lengthy periods of time. Criminals seek homes where newspapers and mail piles up and lawns go unmowed. One trick used by burglars is to place a business card in the door of a home and check on it later to see it's been removed.

If you own a second home or go on vacation, leave a few lights on (a programmable timer works well), ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your paper and mail and check the locks on doors and windows.

Taking a few simple precautions should help reduce the number of crimes of opportunity happening in our community.