The heavy coat has been retired. The house windows are open. The bicycles are out of the garage. Heck, you're outta there, too! Gone somewhere with the kids trying to enjoy every blessed moment of this beautiful spring weather. And, while you're campin', bikin', hikin', fishin', swimmin', or just drivin' around with the windows down, you may be the unsuspecting victim of burglaries.
As temperature rises above 50 degrees in spring and summer, a pattern of increased crime rates emerges as seen in the March 2012 issue of Chicago Magazine. There is no clear explanation for the pattern of warm weather and crime that can be applied across all metropolitan areas. One reason for an increase in break-ins, according to this SouthSource article, might be the academic summer break. Since juveniles make up almost 50% of offenders (Moser 2012), crime may peak during the summer months when students are off from school (Jerpi 2011).
Another reason for the spike in crime may be that people tend to leave valuables such as bicycles and patio furniture on the front lawn. This gives the impression that home security is lacking or neglected and makes it easier for burglars to spot a house for a potential heist. Even more, you may have improved their chances of successfully entering your property if you forgot to lock all the doors and windows (and if your locks aren't good enough).
You might think that the increase in violence during the spring and summertime is due to our bodies getting warmer, impacting our mental judgment. And, you would be right – to an extent. Crime rates and heat go up together, but only to about 85 degrees (Moser 2012). Then, crime rates begin to drop back down.
One possibility is that people are out, interacting with each other and with nature when it's warm. Everybody tends to go outside and stay out, creating the perfect window of time for theft. But, when it gets too hot, people come back inside to the comfort of their air-conditioned Indianapolis homes. Another explanation could be that heat creates discomfort (just as you expected). This irritation may trigger aggression. But, the heat can get too uncomfortable that a potential criminal would rather escape it than act upon it (Moser 2012). So, at some point, it gets too hot to commit a crime.
photo credit: Chiot's Run via photopin ccNo matter what the reason is for weather-related crime, protecting your home and your family are top priority. And, although the thought of leaving a glass of cold lemonade by the front door to help the criminal “cool off” (and deter him from breaking in) may have crossed your mind, a security system is your best bet. With today's advanced security technology, it's never been easier to hang up that gone fishing sign.
For more home security tips, check out 5 Ways To Keep Your Home Safe While On Spring Break and like us on facebook.