Watch out for new burglary trends -

Watch out for new burglary trends

"I think the economy is so messed up that people are trying to do anything just to survive."

JR Andrade speaks from experience.

"I went down to the store, 15 minutes--and the plasma was gone," Andrade says.  "I guess I should've locked my door."

He's certainly not the only victim. 

"This year we've been seeing a little bit of a change or differences in the trends," says Sgt. Maria Hawke of the Tucson Police Department.  "That's why we think it's important people know what's going on."

It's not that Tucson is seeing more burglaries, it's the types of burglaries taking place.

In some cases it's businesses being targeted.

"For example vacant businesses being used as a pass thru to a business that's occupied," Sgt. Hawke says.

Burglars will break into one business knowing that nobody's there.  But it's not that business they're ripping off; it's the one immediately next door.

"The thieves will gain access to the vacant business, maybe cut a wall or a hole in the wall and use that hole as a pass through to gain access into the occupied business," Hawke says.

Vacant houses are also being targeted at an unusual rate.

From houses that are for sale or under renovation to those recently vacated by a sick or a deceased elderly person.

Burglars have a pretty good idea when somebody's living there.

Still, that doesn't always matter.

Police tell us people are breaking into homes while residents are asleep.

They use doggy doors and unsecured windows - anything they can find to gain entry.

That's why deadbolt locks and alarm systems are a good idea if you can afford them.

Even if you can't, locking your doors at all times really makes a difference.

"We definitely encourage people, when you're not home and you're not positive when it's going to be occupied again--even if it's just minutes or you think it's just going to be minutes--just safeguard your property and lock the doors," Sgt. Hawke says.  "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Some of these burglaries are taking place in the middle of the day, right in front of people.

If you're wondering how, the burglars make it appear as though they're working on the homes or perhaps for a utility.

That's why police are asking people to be good neighbors..

If you see something suspicious or a little out of place, jot down a brief description, license plate number, then call the police.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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