Local News

Temperatures and Tempers on the Rise

Posted June 18, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— As temperatures rise, so do the number of violent crimes. It happens every summer. Police say the biggest targets are homes and cars.

This is a perfect example of what police say not to do: leave your car window down to get air. Its also not a good idea to leave the window up in your home to catch some air. While it might keep you cool, its not necessarily safe.

As temperatures climb, lots of people open their windows to keep cool. However, police say what you're really doing is extending an invitation to a burglar.

J.L. Adams, a crime prevention officer, says over 60 percent of all illegal entries to homes are through the open window or door.

He also says a lot of homes don't have central air conditioning, so people have to rely on window units, which can pose problems. Some people will put in a window unit, and that becomes a point of entry for a burglar to get into their homes.

But the warm weather doesn't just attract burglars. In 1996, the number of murders in North Carolina increased from 51 in May to 92 in June. Other violent crimes increased from 3756 in May to 3771 in June.

Officer Ron Evans says when it gets hot, tempers flair. Small problems become large ones, and police see about a 40 percent increase in calls.

Police suggest not leaving any windows open when you are not around. But if you need to open your windows to cool your home, you should open the top part of your window instead of the bottom part. That makes it a little more difficult for burglars to get climb in. Also, if you must leave car windows open, open all four windows about an inch. Then criminals can't stick their hands into the window and break into the car.

To help you stay safe this summer, call your local police department. They will come do a site survey and tell you what you can do to make your home safer.