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Temperatures and Tempers on the Rise

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As temperatures rise, some people open windows to keep cool
RALEIGH — As temperatures rise, so do the number of violent crimes. It happensevery summer. Police say the biggest targets are homes and cars.

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

As temperatures climb, lots of people open their windows to keep cool. However, police say what you're really doing is extending an invitationto 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 peoplehave to rely on window units, which can pose problems. Some people willput 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 numberof 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 problemsbecome large ones, and police see about a 40 percent increase in calls.

Police suggest not leaving any windows open when you are not around. Butif you need to open your windows to cool your home, you should open thetop part of your window instead of the bottom part. That makes it alittle more difficult for burglars to get climb in. Also, if you mustleave car windows open, open all four windows about an inch. Thencriminals 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 yourhome safer.

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