Beware of burglars in your backyard

Lawton_As temperatures rise, police say that the number of home burglaries will increase, too.  They say burglars are apt to target your house while your working in your yard.  Police say it's an ideal time for criminals to dart in, grab your stuff, and be out in a flash - especially if you are so focused on your outdoor activity that you forget to be aware of who's around.  Most people don't think of locking their doors, gates, or even garage doors, while working in the yard, and police say there could be someone watching - and waiting.

The sounds of spring - lawnmowers, weed eaters, kids playing - could keep you from being fully aware of what is going on in your own backyard.  But, not for William and Kathy Taylor.  The Taylors work hard to keep their yard in top shape, but when they're in their front garden, they make sure no one can get in unless they walk right past them.  "We leave our back door locked when we're out," they said.  The Taylors say they learned the hard way when their statues disappeared from their lawn.

Now, the Taylors make sure all of their doors - and even their lawn shed - are locked tight.  That way it would be a lot tougher for a burglar to dodge in and out, stealing whatever they could get their hands on.

Lawton Police Captain Will Hines advises people to keep an eye out for strangers in your neighborhood.  Make note of who should, and shouldn't be there.  "Red flags should go up when you see someone walking down the street, looking at neighbor's houses or anything," said Hines.  He says that if you see something strange, you should call police immediately.  "If they are burglarizing your house, then they'll probably burglarize several more, and we want to get them shut down," he said.

Now, the Taylors have their lawn statues buried in concrete so that they aren't so easy to steal.  "Now they're buried in concrete so they can't walk off," said Taylor.  "They deserve the hernia they get."

If you do your own yard work, police say to lock your gates, doors, and garages whenever you are not in the house.  They also say it's a good idea to get to know your neighbors so you can look out for one another.  Police also warn about those going door-to-door offering to mow lawns.  Never let them into your home, and if the person makes you feel uneasy, call the police.