Police investigate several vehicle and home burglaries every week. They say there are a few simple strategies that can deter thieves.
When it comes to safety, Lisa Lackovie relies on the new family dog, Lulu. "She keeps us safe."
But when Lulu isn't there to jump on the strangers, "We try to be in the front yard when the garage door is open, when we're in the back we shut it. And we keep all of the doors locked."
Not everyone is like Lackovie though as garage doors are left open and unattended. "About one in four of our burglaries in town have been because, not necessarily that they've had to break into the house, but somebody has left the door open, the garage door open," said Officer Michael Bratcher with the Omaha Police Neighborhood Services Crime Prevention Unit.
Officer Bratcher has been with OPD for decades and knows what temps thieves and what to do to deter them. "Use your head. Be smart. Lock your cars, don't leave your windows down. Don't leave items in your car that somebody can see that would catch their attention."
Lackovie admits she may have been guilty of providing temptations once, but not any more. "We were in the bad habit of leaving the keys in the vehicle and after our friends lost their car to that, we always bring our keys in."
"Any time somebody breaks into your car or your house, it's a violation of your privacy," says Bratcher. "So we try to tell them, what extent to you want to go to, to protect yourself, your property and your privacy?"
Bratcher also suggests keeping shrubs trimmed so there's nowhere for a thief to hide if an officer drives by. He also says motion sensor lights aren't a bad idea, either. The most effective thing to do is to know your neighbors and call 911 if you see something or someone suspicious.
National Night Out is coming up August 7th. Everyone is urged to turn on porch lights and spend the night outside, getting to know neighbors. Many neighborhoods throughout Omaha will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, potlucks, ice cream socials, flashlight walks, contests and youth activities.
The Omaha Police Department, Omaha Fire Department, Omaha Neighborhoods and Target Stores will be celebrating NNO. Parties will be held throughout the city in an effort to remind neighbors to work in partnership with police to keep their neighborhoods safe.
If you are hosting a NNO party and would like to have a police officer or firefighter visit, please contact the Omaha Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at 402-444-5772 or the Omaha Fire Department at 402-444-3560. Requests must be made by Friday, July 27th.