MOUNT VERNON — Although winter’s snow and frigid temperatures may perhaps discourage some people bent on criminal mischief, area residents still need to be aware and take precautions against burglaries and car break-ins, which can occur both during the day and after dark.
Interim Mount Vernon Police Chief George Hartz said the city has not received reports of thefts from vehicles since Christmas Eve, but there has been a handful of burglaries since Christmas. Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer said there have been 10 thefts, three burglaries and three thefts from vehicles in the county since Dec. 20.
To help deter car break-ins, which occur mostly at night, Hartz said it is necessary to keep one’s vehicle locked and to keep valuables in the car out of sight.
“That doesn’t mean your car will not be broken into,” he said, “but it decreases the likelihood if your valuables are hidden.”
When asked whether thieves tend to stake out a house before they force entry, Hartz said houses might, in some cases, be randomly selected, but his personal opinion is that in most instances someone who breaks into a house is somehow familiar with that house.
“They may be in the neighborhood every day and they see the people come and go,” said Hartz, “or they are a friend of a friend who lives there. In the majority of the cases, there is some sort of a tie to that house.”
As for deterring burglaries, Hartz said people will definitely want to keep their houses locked and secured.
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