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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Officers Warn to Lock Your House if You're Working in the Yard

KETTERING -- With summer just around the corner, you are going to be spending a lot more time in your yard.  Now, police are warning yard-workers to be wary of thieves.

"2 to 3 times a week," said Sally Rillo of Kettering. "A couple times a week I'm out here and in the backyard. I plant flowers and mow the lawn."

Whether simple jobs like lawn-mowing, cutting trees or more intense work, police have one simple tip: Lock every door and shut the garage.

"The garage door is always open when I'm in the yard working even if I'm in the backyard but I'm never back there very long," said one Kettering resident anonymously.

But it doesn't take very long for the thieves. Police tell us every year they get several calls from people who say someone broke in while working in their backyards.

"People want to leave their doors open because maybe they'll walk around to the front maybe get a drink of water or maybe all the tools are in the garage and maybe they don't want to put the garage door up and down but that is a perfect invitation to the thief," said Kettering Police Department Lieut. Craig Moore.

"Don't make it easy for them," said Rillo. "Locked doors keep an honest man honest. It just makes it a deterrence if someone comes around and knocks on the door and they see it open or unlocked they get curious and that sets in.  You just don't want it."

Police say thieves will drive around neighborhoods looking for people working in their backyards. When they see one, they'll knock on the door and look through the windows to make sure no one is inside and if you're door is unlocked or your garage is open, just like that you've become a victim.

"Sometimes there'll be two of them one watching to make sure you're not coming back in," said Moore.

And these are obviously more aggressive thieves who are willing to go in your home, not in the middle of the night, but in broad daylight, with you just feet away.

"It's bold.  They're lucky if they don't get shot but you can't fix stupid," said Rillo.

Police say you should know every neighbor, every person, and every car that belongs in the neighborhood so you can report when you see someone that does not belong there.  Keeping your dog outside could also be a good deterrent for thieves.

Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.

 
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