Oftentimes, with warmer weather also comes criminal mischief.
Vandalism and burglaries have been reported recently in nice, quiet neighborhoods in Cape Girardeau and Jackson. The crimes don't appear to be related (thefts in Jackson appear more calculated; vandalism in Cape Girardeau appear more destructive), but there are some points to be taken away from the incidents.
First, be sure to lock up your houses and cars at night and when you are not home. It's easy to be lulled into a sense of security when your neighborhood is quaint and quiet. Thieves are banking on that, and they prey on those who don't lock their doors. Also, it's a good idea to leave some lighting on outside of your home at night.
Additionally, we should all be more vigilant in keeping an eye out in our neighborhoods and helping one another. If you see or suspect something suspicious, tell a neighbor and police. In the Cape Girardeau neighborhood that was targeted, conversations are already ongoing about forming a neighborhood watch group.
Theft and vandalism are despicable crimes. There will always be a few criminals out to take what they haven't earned. Let's not make it easy for them. Consider what you can do to make your neighborhoods safer from these types of crimes.