WACO, Texas – Local police departments are seeing a rise in what they call “summer crimes” – mainly including property damage and car burglaries.
Police say they see these types of crimes all year – but once the weather is warmer, they see a spike as people are likely to stay out deeper into the night.
“We’ve got video after video that we’ve posted, where they just walk down the street, pulling on your door handles. And if your car is unlocked, they’re going to go in it and take anything they think is of value,” Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said. “We also have, in those same videos where they pull on the door handle, it’s a locked door. And they move on to the next car.”
The spikes not only align with warmer weather, but also with the end of the school year. Police believe teenagers having free time throughout the summer could lead them into trouble.
“Unfortunately, some of our teens in the area are the ones responsible for some of these property crimes, and they can range from anywhere from ages 13 and 14 on up,” Waco police officer Garen Bynum said. “Some of them, I’m not saying all of them, but some of them do start young.”
In the summer months, police not only keep an eye on their usual busy streets, but also on some quiet neighborhoods where these opportunistic crimes are more likely to happen.
“One of the things we’ll do is concentrate more on the neighborhoods,” Devlin said. “When we know that we have an update in vehicle burglaries, we’ll patrol neighborhoods a lot more. And we’ll do certain things tactic-wise to thwart people from coming into those neighborhoods.”
The crimes seem to slow down as the calendar flips to September.
“Whenever school goes back into session, a lot of times, some of those crimes will decrease,” Bynum said.
These departments advise people to lock their cars and take their valuables inside, while also securing a sober ride during the July 4th holiday weekend.