Locking your stuff up to prevent crimes of opportunity

The thicker the chain, the less likely a thief can cut it. / Colby Gallagher

'Tis the season for yard work but what would you do if you went to use your lawnmower and it was gone? One local family says they know how it feels.

James King went to use his air-compressor and chainsaw this past Saturday and realized the $450 worth of equipment was missing from his own car-port - and King's family says he's feeling the loss.

"When you buy something and something is yours, even if someone gives it to you, you want it and it hurts you when someone takes it," said James' wife, Lillie King.

The Dougherty County Police is investigating this incident and they urge people to take precautions with their hard-earned items by securing them as much as possible.

"Most criminals are criminals of opportunity. If they see a weed-eater laying out and no one's around it then people are more amped to pick it up and take it with them," said Captain Tom Jackson.

Captain Jackson says your best bet is to keep the equipment out of view but for those who must keep them outside, it's best to invest in a chain and lock - and experts say the thicker the chain, the better.

"If it was a smaller gauge, it's real easy to snip it and go on, but with the bigger gauges it's a lot harder to use regular bolt cutters to do it," said Home Depot Hardware Department manager, Zak Heath.

Once you've picked your chain, it's time for a lock and there are plenty to choose from. The options range from the average padlock to a special circular lock that only has a small piece of metal exposed - making it much harder to cut.

The DCP says another precaution you can take is making friends with your neighbors who can alert you to anything out of the ordinary â" making it much harder for people to steal your stuff.

"The harder you make it for someone to obtain your property, the less likely they're going to mess with it and they'll move on," said Captain Jackson.