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Thieves use Window AC units to break into homes

PEORIA, Ill. - Criminals are taking advantage of the summer heat and your need to stay cool And if you're not paying attention you could be the next victim.

Police throughout central Illinois are warning homeowners that burglars are pushing out window air conditioner units and breaking into homes to steal valuables. Instead of just sliding the unit in hardware experts recommend taking extra measures to protect the window.

Tips:

Install an air conditioner bracket to the outside of the unit. The bracket not only supports the air conditioner, but it attaches to the bottom of the unit and the house, making it harder to move the air conditioner.

Add a sliding window lock to each side of the window frame. Depending on the type, the locks are bolted or screwed in. They prevent burglars from sliding the window up and down. Attach the lock into the frame just above the window. Tighten it securely.

Measure the length from the side of the unit to the wall. Purchase and attach a steel corner brace to each side of the air conditioner. Connect the other end to a secure section of the wall. Use screws or bolts to secure the brackets in place. This prevents thieves from pushing the air conditioner in or pulling it out.

Screw in plastic vent flaps directly to the window frame. If the air conditioner is smaller than the window, plastic vent flaps need to be pulled tightly to cover up the holes. This is a vulnerable spot for burglars. Use three or more screws to attach it directly to the window frame.

Install a small window sensor alarm. Magnetic controls set above the air conditioner will go off if the unit is moved or the window is opened. The high-pitched noise will alert anyone in the home and likely scare the burglar away.

Things You Will Need

  • Power drill

  • Screws

  • Bolts

  • Window lock

  • Steel corner brackets

  • A/C bracket

  • Window alarm

  • Screwdriver


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