• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Crime rates up as temperatures rise, officials warn

June 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
When the heat is on, crime rates rise. Law enforcement is warning people to be alert and they've come up with new tools to deal with criminal activity.

Car windows left cracked a few inches or garage doors left wide open are invitations for a thief on the prowl. Burglars tend to have more crimes of opportunity thanks to the summertime heat.

"Oftentimes when people leave for work, they don't want to run their air conditioning due to environmental and cost issues, so they choose to leave their windows and doors either open or unlocked," said Deputy Joshua Dubin with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

We found two garage doors open on one street, with items in plain sight easy for the taking.

Steve Muldoon of Santa Clarita says he was working between the house and the garage and kept his garage open.

"It's so hot and I didn't want to keep opening and closing the door all the time, so I do tend to leave it open a little bit more than usual," said Muldoon.

But when it comes to the windows on his house, Muldoon says he keeps them closed and runs the air conditioning when the temperature soars.

Closing and locking your windows and doors is the best way to avoid having your home or car broken into. Starting this summer, some sheriff's deputies will be riding a T3 patroller. They hope to catch would-be burglars off guard.

"It is quiet and we're able to provide extra patrols to residential neighborhoods during the hot summer months when people might be more prone to leaving their windows and doors unlocked," said Dubin.

The T3 patrollers could go up to 20 mph. Deputies will primarily use them at night.