HILLIARD, Ohio — It's the time of year when people start to enjoy getting out of the house. But the warmer weather also brings out criminals.
"Usually the warm weather brings more criminal activity, definitely in our neighborhoods". Sergeant Suzy Muraco with the Hilliard Police Department said.
Muraco said spring is the time of year when criminals take advantage of "crimes of opportunity." With warmer weather, Muraco said many Hilliard residents tend to be more relaxed about leaving their garage doors open or leaving their cars unlocked in the driveway. But in a split second, thieves can swoop in.
According to Maraco, "(Criminals) look for those golf clubs, tools, bicycles that may have been left out overnight."
In April 2021, the seasonal criminal trend began with five thefts from vehicles parked at homes in Hilliard. In May, that number jumped to 9 thefts.
"Sometimes it's an individual person, and other times a carload (of people) dropped off in a neighborhood (so they can) begin their crime spree," Muraco said.
That's why Hilliard police are starting their campaign to reduce seasonal crime this year. They're introducing what they call a "9 o'clock routine."
Police are encouraging neighbors to set their clock each night for 9 p.m. and then go around the home taking preventive measures. This includes locking cars and closing garage doors.
By doing so, Hilliard police said this will reduce those crimes of opportunity.
Hilliard Police said they've seen an uptick in seasonal crimes through the years. They said they know the warmer weather will bring these criminals out once again this year.