BY REBECCA ISENHART
NISKAYUNA — It happens every year, like clockwork: As the temperature rises, everybody heads outdoors, including people looking for an illicit opportunity to take things that aren’t theirs.
Springtime burglaries have begun in Niskayuna, as two homes in the Old Niskayuna neighborhood had items stolen from their detached garages. One was unlocked, and a bicycle was taken. The other was locked, but the thief forced entry and took a portable generator.
Deputy Chief Michael Stevens of the Niskayuna Police Department said the best way to prevent springtime thefts is to remember to close and lock doors to houses, garages, and cars.
“Every year, we have this when the season starts to break. People come out at night more,” he said. “Lock your doors, lock your detached garages, close your garage doors and lock your vehicles.”
Many thefts, especially as the Northeast thaws, are crimes of opportunity.
“I think people are out looking for the opportunity, don’t get me wrong,” Stevens said. “But if you’re stuff’s locked up, they’ll move on.”
Stevens said at his own home, he routinely checks all the doors before bedtime, including going outside to check car and garage doors and other entry points. He recommends being extra cautious about bicycles, which are popular items for thieves, and vehicle doors, as it is common for burglars to walk around testing door handles to see which cars they can get into.
“Try to prevent yourself from being a victim,” he said.
Stevens said he did not think the most recent crimes were connected to the string of unnerving nighttime break-ins in 2014 and early 2015 in Niskayuna. He said he believes collaboration between Niskayuna and Schenectady police has halted those crimes.
This story originally appeared in The Daily Gazette.