In Highland Park, police say they were surprised to hear that during a recent rash of burglaries more than half the time the residents had left a door unlocked.
“It is surprising especially because the messages are constantly repeated,” says William Tellone with Highland Park Police.
The crimes are occurring between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and police said daylight’ saving time is a factor. Authorities urged resident to keep their lights on so they don’t return from work to a dark home.
The thieves are leaving the TV’s, but taking jewelry and other valuables.One Highland Park street had three homes hit in the same day.
“We didn't lock our doors before," said Victor Maya, who had police knock on his door warning him about the rash of crimes. "But police came and advised us of that. So we're locking our doors now everyday."
Marion Lewis, who has lived there 43 years, is flabbergasted.
“We’re like what’s happening? What’s going on? This shouldn’t be going on on our street. Not in Highland Park,” she said.
Now residents here are buying security systems where they never felt the need before...
He says you have to keep the lights on to make sure you home are less attractive to thieves.
"Now it’s getting darker earlier and they haven’t adjusted their lights to accommodate to the time change,” says Tellone.
Police aren’t sure if the cases are related. But they do know why.
“The economy, they're trying to earn their money too"
But it’s not just home burglaries.
Skokie police are now bracing for an expected rash of crimes as people venture out into the busy shopping season, another unique opportunity for criminals, especially for theft and car break ins.
"Typically during the holidays people let their guard down," says Officer Joe Marzigliano of the Skokie Police Crime Prevention Unit.“Criminals look for GPS systems, exposed laptops.. Its human nature.”
He says people have to be pro-active. Lock valuables and packages in the trunk while shopping and be aware of your surroundings.