Backyard burglaries trending with warmer temps

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Columbus, Ohio - A lot of people of people are finally getting a chance to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures, but police say that’s also opening an opportunity for burglars.

“The reports come in between 9 AM and 9 PM and they peak high at 1 in the afternoon, so that’s when people are at work at that time,” says Officer Chris Riley with the Columbus Division of Police.

“The bad guy will ring the doorbell, knock on the door, peek around and see if anyone is home,” explains Riley. If no one answers, Riley says that’s when burglars make their way to the rear of a home to make their break.

CPD Zones

Recent crime reports from CPD show a common theme when it came to burglaries. In northeast Columbus, homeowners reported most burglars getting in through the rear sliding door or patio doors. In southeast Columbus, the method of entry was through kitchen windows and backdoors. People who live in southwest Columbus reported related stories but added basement windows to the mix. It's more of the same in northwest Columbus with a lot of backdoor, back window and back basement window break-ins.

Officer Riley demonstrated a 3-step locking method with sliding doors that he says can deter a criminal to go elsewhere. It starts with securing the manufacturer’s lock that comes with most sliding doors. The second step is using a broomstick or yardstick on the bottom track to prevent the sliding door from being forced open. But a good third line of defense is the sliding door security bar that fits in the middle of the door where it is visible.

“This is a better deterrent instead of the broomstick, which is just fine, but here, the bad guy walks up and automatically sees something in place that will cause him a delay and a problem,” explains Riley.

“As a general rule, they’re going to go where it’s easiest and if your home is a harder target, there’s probably an easier one down the street,” he adds.

Officer Riley says there’s another common denominator uncovered while crime analysts searched burglary reports.

“Seemed like in the last month, especially, there were a lot of reports where the method of entry was simply through unlocked, unsecured doors instead of force being used,” Riley adds.

He believes that’s because people might consider the back door out of sight, out of mind. But being comfortable – is what criminals are counting on.