By Wyatt Goolsby
ODESSA - Is your home safe? That's the question Ector County deputies are asking. They said a spike in burglaries could be on the way this summer, and they need you to be the eyes and ears for your neighborhood.
When you think summer, you usually think about kids out of school, taking time off, or afternoons at the pool. You're usually not thinking about a rise in crime in your neighborhood. However, a jump in theft usually happens every summer, and law enforcement said now is the time to make sure your home is secure.
"Burglaries have been on the increase in Ector County and the city and we're just trying to get the word out," Sheriff Mark Donaldson said. "We want people to, especially with the summer months coming up, be more vigilant about locking things up, paying more attention to what's going on in their neighborhood."
Donaldson said the time is now to make sure you're not inviting some unwanted guests into your house, as nice homes could be easy targets for thieves.
"You're always going to have your business burglaries when people break into businesses after hours, but the main thing is people breaking into people's homes mainly during the daytime when people are at work and they're not home," Donaldson explained.
Donaldson said it's why they need West Texans to stay in touch with their office anytime they see something suspicious in their neighborhood.
"If you're gone away from that home or if you're in the backyard, you lock the door that you can't see," Lt. Roy Gladden, a Certified Crime Prevention Specialist with the Sheriff's Office, said. "People forget, they feel secure at home, and then when they're going to run out in the backyard and plant some plants or something, they'll leave the front door open, and somebody will knock and into their house, they'll go in because it's unlocked."
Gladden said it's not just doors, it's also garages, windows, all of those places where people can see into or easily get through to steal expensive items. A locked house with alarms is a good plan, but the Sheriff said for criminals who find a way around all your obstacles, they need you and your neighbors to stay alert.
"The main thing I'm trying is to get the public aware and be on the lookout for suspicious stuff so they can get the word to us, so maybe we can get some of these people," Donaldson added.
Officers with the Ector County Sheriff's Office told NewsWest 9, if you ever have questions they have extensive information on how you can protect your home, inspection services or neighborhood watches.