Tips On Avoiding Summer Thefts

First on Fox. As the weather warms up, a local police department is reminding people to lock up their valuables. The Eau Claire Police Department says its seen a large spike in the number of thefts from garages, cars and construction sites this year.

Fox 25/48's Amanda Tyler shares some tips on how you can prevent your home from becoming a target.

The tools that many of us have lying around the garage are a prime target for people looking to make a quick buck.

This year Eau Claire police detective Jason Kaveney has seen more and more cases of property theft come across his desk. The department says the increase in large part is connected to a spike in meth use.

"What they are doing is turning the stolen equipment into collateral for drugs, whether its cash, trade."

The department says they've seen more cases in the first part of the year on Eau Claire’s south side and the west side, near the U-W Eau Claire campus. Several cases have also been reported in the east hill neighborhood.

"Individuals aren't forcing their way into residences, garages or vehicles. Its things that are left open and unsecure."

Police say the first piece of advice to prevent theft is investing in a good lock -- another simple step to prevent theft is to label your belongings.

"A pair of headphones like this has the initials of the person who owns them; that will help decrease the likelihood that item will be targeted in the event that your home is burglarized."

Kaveney also recommends turning to technology to help catch criminals. That includes using trail cameras.

"These can be put out and can be used any time of year, they are great at documenting who is on your property."

And officers say you can use your cell phone to document serial numbers of items you own.

"Record the detailed information of your property so if you do become a victim, we can maximize the potential that you can get the property back."

In Eau Claire, Amanda Tyler, Fox 25/48 News at Nine. 

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