Police are concerned by the rise in daytime burglaries to homes and vehicles that often occur while the homeowner is away for the day.
According to Lt. Lester Jenkins, the most recent rash of burglaries have been spread evenly throughout the city, meaning a single neighborhood wasn't targeted but with the holidays looming, typically crimes of convenience tend to rise so police are urging people to utilize some safety measures.
First and foremost, burglars are looking for quick and easy targets. They often head for the bedroom looking for easy items to grab and stuff in their pockets. They pull drawers, dump out jewelry boxes and rifle through closets. Preventing access to your valuables is the first step.
"Keep the area by the front door very visible from the street," Jenkins advised. "And the side door to the garage is vulnerable. Replace the hollow-core door with a sturdier door so it's not as easy to kick in."
Also, often people put a spare set of keys in an easily accesible, and visible spot, but Jenkins warns this is a bad idea.
"If they find the keys they're mobilized instead of on foot," he said.
In a recent residential burglary in the 400 block of East G Street, the thieves ransacked the house and took the children's XBox games and quite possibly, the family dog.
"Certain dog breeds are worth money," Jenkins said.
However, Jenkins said the most effective deterrents to criminals casing your home is the installation of a home security system or a dog big enough to sound frightening.
"The key is to make them think twice before entering your home," Jenkins said. "They don't want to mess with a house that isn't easy to get in and get out."
For more information on how to protect your home from burglary, or to report a crime, call the Oakdale Police Department at 209-847-2231.