PORTLAND -- Property crime in Portland has spiked in the past six months.
Car break-ins are up 18 percent. Non residential burglaries are up 17 percent. And home break-ins remain a big concern for Portland Police.
“Criminals in general are opportunistic. They’re going to look for the easiest opportunity to steal,” said Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau.
Simpson says detectives are hoping to stop this property crime increase. He said a small percentage of criminals commit a large percentage of the crimes and officers want to get them.
“They’re looking to take that person out of the mix and put them in prison and just by doing that it will lower the crime rate.”
Property crime victim Adam Shifrin knows how devastating it can be. “All of the sudden you’re really worried, like, about just leaving it in certain neighborhoods and stuff like that,” he said.
Nick Chand agrees.
“You feel like you’re not safe anymore even though you locked your car and everything,” he said.
But experts say locking your car is not enough. Get everything out of it when you leave it, so there is nothing for thieves to steal.
Security expert Casey Phillips tells Unit 8 there are things you can do to protect your home.
“It’s easy to kick in the door and get in,” Phillips said.
Phillips said 80 percent of home burglars get in through the front door.
“The double-key entry. If you have two keys on both sides, if you’re leaving for a long weekend, take the key out of the backside and that way no one can unlock it,” he said.
And with this warm weather, it’s not enough to shut your windows. You’ve got to lock them, along with everything else.
“I could actually pull the screens out from this side and go right through,” Phillips said.
But your safest bet is a home security system. It doesn’t hurt if that system comes with a big sign to put in your front yard, letting thieves know they’ve picked the wrong house.
And security systems are not as expensive as they used to be.
“It’s about a hundred dollars for a basic system to start up,” said Phillips.
Other simple tips include trimming the bushes around your windows and doors, communicating with your neighbors so they can help watch your home when you’re gone.
Experts say a great small investment is a set of motion-sensory flood lights. Once you startle a prospective thief, they’ll likely take off instead of rip you off.