CARY, N.C. — 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.