Police advise how to protect yourself from summer crime spike

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Millions of Americans will travel this summer, leaving their homes at risk for possible break-ins.

Greenville Police say they see an uptick in crime during summertime.

Everyone knows to lock their doors and active home security systems when they go out of town, but there are some other things people can do to protect themselves that they may not be aware of.

GPD offers a free Keep Check program. Residents can call the department and let them know their address and when they’ll be out of town. An officer will then drive by the house, get out, and walk around to check on it once a day.

GPD spokesperson Kristen Hunter says another free program the department offers to help protect residents is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

“An officer will actually come out, survey around your house or business, and tell you things that you can actually change in your environment to make you less of a target. Things like tall bushes, bad lighting, that all contributes to crime,” Hunter said.

WNCT spoke with someone living in Greenville whose home was broken into just last week. Thousands of dollars were stolen from Justin Waters and his roommates. He says he’s already learned from his experience, and now, he has some advice for others.

“If someone doesn’t have any remorse to break or make noise or do anything, they can get into your house. If they have a crow bar, which appears to be the weapon they might have used to get into ours in cracking the frame of the door. And once that’s cracked, the door’s just going to push right in,” Waters said.

Police told Waters writing down all serial numbers for electronics can help locate them if they’re stolen. Residents can also register security systems with GPD. Police suggest buying a timer for lights and stopping mail to make it look like someone is home. It’s also important to let neighbors know when someone will be out of town or utilize a neighborhood watch program.

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