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Summer breeds more crime, especially among teens

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

The summer is heating up and so is crime in your neighborhood.

The latest FBI statistics show crime jumps 10 percent in the summer months, with an even greater increase in more serious crime.

Local data shows break-ins, theft, robbery and assault are all on the rise in Greenville this summer compared with the last. In other areas of Pitt County, the number of break-ins jumped by about 20 during that same time period.

So, what gives?

"The economy is pretty bad right now," Edna Anthony, who lives in Greenville, guesses. "That's the biggest problem, not having a job and they just want the latest things that come out."

Pitt County Detective Sgt. Chad Suggs says summertime breeds more crime because the nicer weather means more people are outside enjoying it, creating more opportunities for criminals.

"Not necessarily there are more criminals out looking to steal stuff, it's just that it's easier for them to steal when your windows are down or your car is unlocked, so we find more incidents of those reported," Suggs says.

The heat can also cause tempers to flare. Add alcohol to the mix and Suggs says it can be a recipe for disaster.

"That leads to any number of crimes: from drinking and driving, to assault, to domestic violence, to shootings and robberies, anything that alcohol can influence," he says.

Statistics show crime among teenagers spikes during the summer, too, as they're out of school and unsupervised. Suggs says that leaves them vulnerable to hang out with the wrong crowd and do things they otherwise wouldn't thanks to peer pressure.

"The best advice I can think of is, know where your kids are and know what your kids are doing," he says.

Suggs says always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. And when it comes to protecting your property, lock your car and home, and hide valuables from sight.

 

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