Amarillo, Texas - Summertime is here, meaning it's vacation season and the perfect time for criminals to break into your house.
Burglary in Amarillo may be down almost 7% from this time last year, but the police department is still urging people to protect their homes from thieves since they tend to see a spike in break-ins during the summer.
Investing in a home security system can be expensive, but walk down any hardware aisle, and you'll see all kinds of do-it-yourself gadgets to keep criminals out.
Sgt. Brent Barbee says, "You can't make a door absolutely impossible to enter, but you can make it as difficult and as noisy as you possibly can to discourage burglars."
Leaving your garage door up, or propping your windows open, is a welcome sign for thieves, who can also easily tell when you're out of town.
Barbee explains, "It's very common for them to knock on the front door to find out if anyone is home and then go to the back door and kick it in if no one is home. For that reason, we suggest people invest as much money in making their back door solid, as they do their front door attractive."
You can do that by installing stronger dead bolt locks on all exterior doors.
Leon Gheer at Lowe's Home Improvement says, "The sledge has what is called a bigger, longer deadbolt. It actually goes into the facing farther than the old one."
Reinforce the locks with a heavy duty strike-plate with 3 inch screws, that tie the strike plate to the wall studs and not just the trim.
Police urge you to report any suspicious behavior you may see in your neighborhood. Criminals canvas houses looking for easy targets.
Something people often forget about is their garage door opener, leaving it in a car parked outside is like leaving out the keys to your house.