Warm summer evenings are primetime for the criminal element
Memorial Day in Michigan marks the beginning of the summer season in the Great Lakes State. After the winter we had, it is nice to see the sun and move about unencumbered by winter outerwear.
Time to get out and enjoy the warm weather, but there are some seasonal precautions you should take in order to keep yourself and your property safe, especially during summer evenings.
Weather has a tremendous effect on crime. In bad weather, criminals (who are basically lazy) do not like to go out any more than we law-abiding citizens do. Unless they have a drug habit to support, criminals will stay inside when the weather outside is bad.
The city will heat up and many without air conditioning will spend sweat soaked nights trying to keep cool. Windows, curtains, drapes and shades will be opened and the separation between relative safety and the cruel world will only be a flimsy screen. The actions of those who prowl, peep and hunt will be masked by noisy box fans and air conditioners. A whole world of valuables and victims will be on display for those criminally inclined.
Nighttime is the right time for criminals in the summer because shadows and darkness will hide their actions. The milder temperatures in the evening are more attractive to criminals who as previously mentioned avoid at all costs the sweat incumbent upon those who must labor to earn a living.
Ground floor and semi-subterranean apartments are at greatest risk during the summer. Low balconies or balconies close enough for someone to travel from balcony to balcony are also at risk. Sliding door walls and windows left open to coax a breeze inside are favorite entry points for home invaders.
Unfortunately to minimize the possibility of home invasion, one’s comfort will suffer if no air conditioning is available. At the risk of blocking some precious breeze, these doors and windows should be opened only far enough to allow the breeze and not a human inside. Removable pins or nails can be placed in holes drilled in door and window tracks to prevent the opening from becoming large enough for an intruder to enter. This will allow some cool air in while keeping the intruder out.
It is also a good idea to place knickknack items near the partially opened window. If an intruder reaches inside the falling knickknacks will hopefully make enough noise to warn the potential victim so they can scream, bolt or call 9-1-1.
Since windows must be closed so far anyway, drapes, curtains and shades should also be lowered to at least the top of the opening used for ventilation. Remember however that perverts and window peepers can still peer inside whatever opening is left un-shaded.
To combat these creeps, remember the person in the darker environment has a tactical advantage and can see better than the person in the lighter environment. For this reason consider installing motion activated lights around your home’s perimeter.
When not needed, keep your interior lamps and lights low so you can see outside. Keep shrubs and bushes outside your home trimmed low enough that a prowler will not have an area to hide in.
Valuables should be kept out of sight and more importantly far enough away from open doors and windows that the thief cannot slit the screen and reach in (sometimes with a hook or grabber) to collect valuables. Purses are especially vulnerable to this sort of “reach in” home invasion.
Watch out for your neighbors. Prowling is legally defined as entering onto someone else property during the hours of darkness. Window peeping involves entering onto another’s property to peer into windows.
Both of these are crimes that the police can immediately arrest someone for if they observe the act. Therefore if you see a stranger in your neighbor’s back yard or peering into their windows, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Remember if you see a suspicious person in your neighbor’s yard there is a good chance that same prowler, peeper or predator just came from your yard. CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!
Lock it up, don’t leave it unattended, be aware and watch out for your neighbors.