Open windows in hot weather are an open invitation for criminals

Open windows in hot weather are an open invitation for criminals »Play Video

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Even with the evening sunset it’s still plenty warm, and it’s going to get a lot warming.

It’s not hard to find open windows, some filled with running fans, in homes trying to cool down from the heat.

Diane Gudmendsen is already thinking about that at her home, which also houses her business.

Gudmendsen will run air conditioning for part of the evening, then open as many windows to take advantage of cool night air.

Gudmendsen shuts everything at the end of her night.

“Usually we’re not leaving the windows on the lower floor open,” Gudmendsen says, “during the night because that can just be a real safety concern I think.  And you can be lulled into complacency by living in a wealthy neighborhood and some criminals target those neighborhoods.”

Crime prevention experts suggest thinking like a criminal.

Items left by open windows, or in open garages, are prime targets for theft.

Also, double-check what’s near a second-floor window you might leave open.

“If you have to open a window to keep things cooler,” says Washington County Sheriff’s Sergeant Vance Stimler, “upstairs is a better option.  Of course, you want to look to windows that don’t have access via a roofline or something like that.  Or if there’s trellises, something somebody could climb up.”