by Lisa Tome
Padlocks haven't kept thieves from invading sheds in the county.
Officials at the Cecil Sheriff's Office have seen what they've categorized as a "dramatic increase" in forced entries into sheds in the past few weeks. The thieves have been cutting the locks and then making off with gas cans, lawn mowers, bicycles, or whatever else can be found inside.
"A lot of them (shed thefts) have been where the pad locks have been cut off," said Lieutenant Michael Holmes, spokesman for the Cecil County Sheriff's Office.
In June, there was a large number of these types of thefts throughout the county. Holmes offered some ways that people can deter these crimes. He suggests heavy duty locks and the installation of motion sensors in the yard in the area of the shed or on the shed itself. He also said watch out for neighbors and be aware of suspicious vehicles or people in neighborhoods.
Warmer weather often brings out people with whom you may not be familiar.
He said the motive is simple. Thieves can pawn the items or sell them for money or drugs.
"Don't leave things in your yard. That makes you a target. Keep your things locked up in your sheds and out of your yards," said Holmes.
But the best deterrent may be awareness. "People need to be aware, as best they can of suspicious behavior," said Holmes. "And if you see something, report it. We will check it out."