Summer time, summer crime: how to stay safe -, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Summer time, summer crime: how to stay safe


It may be hot but summer time is when most people want to get outside and take vacations.  And while many are out having fun in the sun and leave their homes empty, that's when danger can strike.

When there's a strange phone call or a knock on the door, it could be a scam.

"They always want money upfront," explained Decatur Police Department Patrol Officer Zeth Giles. "And they want a down payment and they say they'll start next week. They leave you a bogus business card or something like that and you never see them."

And if it's not a summer scam to look out for this season it could be burglars.

Catherine Nielsen is doing what she can to avoid this danger, like when she went to St. Louis.

"Just the road trip down there and walked around the zoo for about four hours and the drive back," she said.

So she made sure her apartment was secure.

"Just make sure the blinds are down and closed," Nielsen said. "I have a bolt lock on my door so after I've locked it I even make sure that it's locked."

She also posted about her trip on Facebook, but Officer Giles said that could be a mistake.

"It's almost like an open invite," he said.

Because the more people know, the more someone could be at risk for intruders.

"All it would take is one wrong person getting that information," he said.

According to Giles a key rule: Make it look like you're home, even when you're not.

"These burglars what they do is they scope your house," Giles said. "They get to know your routine."

Nielsen's doing everything she can to make sure every visitor is welcomed and not burglars.

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