Summer starts Wednesday, and with that heat, some burglars will be looking for some hot items.
But what are they stealing and how can you protect yourself? News Channel Five's Brooke Buford talked to one homeowner about his fight against thieves.
"It's very frustrating for the homeowner or the rental owner that you have to deal with this problem all the time," said Gary Bernard, a homeowner and landlord.
Bernard owns 46 rental properties throughout Alexandria and Pineville. Out of those 46, more than half of the vacant ones have been broken into over the past few years.
"There was a unit here, different tenants had units here," he said. "I had bought one for the tenants. They came and stole it out of the window."
Other homes, like one on Alma Street, have been broken into 26 times since last June.
According to Alexandria Police, the worst may be yet to come. In the summertime, burglaries rise because more homes are left vacant while some people are on vacation or tenants move out.
"What we generally see in the summertime is an increase of lawn equipment, vehicle burglaries, any type of electronic items for vehicles that are left unlocked and air conditioning," said Sgt. Bruce Fairbanks of the Alexandria Police Department.
Items like air conditioners are swiped when the temperatures heat up.
"The reason behind that is in the summer it's naturally hotter," said Sgt. Fairbanks. "People are looking for cooler sources. Lawn equipment is generally left out because the family gets preoccupied with another activity in the evening and they leave it out and its just a crime of opportunity."
"It's so hot," said Bernard. "And, they can sell quickly."
Police say the best way to protect your stuff is to keep it out of sight. If your home will be empty, take those A/Cs out of the windows and lock up your lawn tools.
Bernard's just hoping that whoever is continuing to steal his stuff ends up locked up behind bars, because he says he can't afford to keep replacing items when new tenants move in.
"They want more things, and I understand they want more things, but from all the things that are stolen, the owner just can't provide those things anymore," said Bernard.
Bernard says he believes in some of the break-in cases, it was former tenants who did the job. In many of the other burglaries, no arrests have been made.
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