Lock it up

Today I want to draw your attention to a topic that is a bit more important than my thoughts on the weather we will have this week or the basketball games we had last week.

I would like to add my voice to several others that appear in a story elsewhere in this issue about people who seem to be lurking about the community between sundown and sunrise. Some of them do not seem bent on theft or destruction, but some do. It is time for all of us to be aware of what is going on around us and take precautions.

I even had my own experience with this behavior one miserably cold night between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when I glanced out the window and noticed the dome light was on in my car. As I stared at the car and pondered how that might have happened, the passenger side door opened and a male got out of my car, shut the door, and walked toward the street. I had taken my keys out of the car, but not locked it. There was nothing missing when I checked it out the next day, but there certainly could have been. Just seeing someone getting out of the car at 4 a.m. was a huge shock.

In the past few weeks, several unlocked cars in the downtown area have been entered and an attempt has been made to hot-wire them. Some contained tools and other items that could have been stolen and exchanged for cash, but apparently those things were of little interest to the thief. Local law enforcement and the victims all feel the vehicles themselves were the objects of interest. Had a key been in the ignition of any of the vehicles, the general consensus is that vehicle would have been gone in the morning.

There also have been reports of people possibly “squatting” in vacant buildings. No damage seems to be done, but owners have found evidence of someone being in an empty house or outbuilding.

So here is a wakeup call for all of us. Lock your vehicles and take your keys. Do the same for your house, motor home, garage, and small buildings on your property. If it belongs to you and has value, make sure it is secure. Communicate with your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another’s homes. Call 911 if something seems amiss. Be sure to report suspicious activity to local police when it occurs. Be careful and be safe.

— SUSAN MARSHALL

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