Local News

Cary Lesson: Open Doors Are Open Invitations to Thieves

Posted August 15, 2007
Updated August 16, 2007

— People in Cary are paying the price for leaving their garage doors open and their cars unlocked in suburbia. Police say crimes of opportunity are rising for the third year in a row.

In nearly half of the reported burglaries in Cary last year, the burglar entered the home or car through an open door, according to town police. This year, the numbers are even higher.

Police say residents can help turn those statistics around, and they are asking for the public’s help.

"It's a wonderful place, and then to have this start happening, it's a shame," said Carolyn Berlin, who lives in a neighborhood that Cary police say has been hit along with several others by thieves preying on people who leave their garage doors open and cars and house doors unlocked.

Berlins said thieves unloaded a fridge full of beer in her garage, but she considers herself lucky.

“What if I had walked out there while they were there?” she said. “That was bothersome to me."

Police Chief Scott Cunningham said the town is seeing more crimes of opportunity than ever before. Homes are easy targets, with everything from lawn mowers to ice skates within eyesight.

"There are people out there that want to take advantage of us, and if we can prevent them, if we can make it harder for them to be successful, basically they'll go shopping for their goods elsewhere," Cunningham said.

“I keep the alarm on all the time, keep the garage door shut, keep the doors shut," Berlin said.

Police hope others will follow her lead. They also suggest making a record of the makes, models and serial numbers of valuables such as laptop computers, lawn mowers, tools and I-pods.

A motion-sensor light is also a good investment to put over garage doors, parked cars and doors to the house.

One other note: Cunningham warned that if you see any suspicious activity, don't confront the possible criminal. Call police immediately.


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  • raysson Aug 17, 2007

    You got some people who do not learn....when you leave your house for anything whether its going to the store,off to work or going on vacation...make sure that you LOCKED everything in your house before you leave...check all units in the house and make sure that your house is completely locked before you even pull out of the driveway to go toward your destination,period.
    Being safe is important to your precious ones,but being sorry and ignorant is another...one more thing...if you see someone hanging around the community that is doing something out of the ordinary,do not take any chances...call your local law enforcement right away!!! And check everything around your house often and make sure that everything is secured and tight before you go off anywhere!!! Bill Leslie went over this during his morning newscast on FOX 50.

  • duvler Aug 16, 2007

    By the way, I like my beer too, but a refrigerator full....can you say you might need AA?

  • duvler Aug 16, 2007

    You mean to tell my that lady thinks beer robbers would be ater her? Come on, that is a teenager theft, probably neighborhood kids who know they keep the stuff out there. As for the advance from law enforcement, it's basic people, close the garage and keep your door locked to keep the real criminals out.

  • Rocknhorse Aug 16, 2007

    Why is it that those of us who want stricter punishments for crimes are told we have our heads in the clouds? I know it's not the 40s or 50s, but if we could somehow bring back a community atmosphere (neighbors helping/watching out for neighbors) and be tougher on crime, I DO think things would improve! I am aghast by the fact that the answer to crime is to lock yourself up in your house and maybe the criminals will move on to the next neighborhood. If that means my head is in the clouds, then I suppose it is. I would rather hear that they will do everything they can to find the crooks and punish them severely. It might make those considering it in the future think twice!

  • innocent bystander Aug 16, 2007

    Yogi, I'd love to try some of your garage brew. Do you live in Cary? Just leave your garage door unlocked tonight. I'll be bringing a friend by the name of "Will." He'll be dressed in reflective yellow clothes. If you got a gun, aim at him.

  • dark_magyar Aug 16, 2007

    Why do people in Cary think that they're immune to crime? It's everywhere and it's not going to slow down unfortunately.

  • RIP- Yogi Bear Aug 16, 2007

    bob- try some of my hand crafted garage brew- i quit buying all of that stuff on the shelf

  • innocent bystander Aug 16, 2007

    Dundees Honey Brown tastes like brown hummingbird food to me. If I left a 6-pack of that stuff sitting by the side of my road, I'd expect to come back an hour later and find it still sitting there along with another case of the stuff dumped next to it.

    Try Carolina pale ale, or something else decent and local!

  • PDMARTIN Aug 16, 2007

    Carolina Fever:

    You can also find Honey Brown at Lowes Foods.
    Happy drinking!!

  • newssaavy72 Aug 16, 2007

    I guess they still think they are living in the 1940's and 1950's were you could leave your stuff unlocked. Get real, this is 2007 and crime is everywhere! Maybe they should steal some of those signs to call it even for Cary having such crazy ordinances. Get your head out of the clouds!