ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford Police respond to more than 100 break-ins last month and now a local woman wants us to learn from her mistake.
"What I'm upset with myself is I didn't take the time to lock the door as I rushed through," Jan, a Burglary Victim, said.
That mistake cost this Rockford homeowner her lawnmower and her sense of security. Jan says thieves went in the side door of her garage and stole it in broad daylight. It's the second time in three years and now she wants us to learn from her mistakes.
"You would think I would learn my lesson, and I did for a while, but I got careless and I left it open. I was in a hurry. The door was shut but it wasn’t locked," she said.
Rockford Police say that's one of the most common mistakes burglary victims make: Not locking doors, or leaving valuables in plain sight. There have been more than 20 burglaries in Jan’s eastside neighborhood in the last month and a half. Officers say they know it's a serious problem.
"I've had victims who first of all don't want their property back because it's been contaminated by someone else. Some of them don't even want to live in the same location because they don't feel safe there," Deputy Chief Dave Hopkins, with the Rockford Police Department, said.
Officers say of the 135 break-ins in April they've cleared more than two dozen cases with just four arrests.
Jan says that gives her a little more peace of mind, but encourages us to be more vigilant.
"Keep those doors locked, you know, just be aware of your surroundings."
Rockford Police are talking about compiling a list of everyone who's on parole and has a history of burglary. That will give detectives an easy reference list to see if those parolee’s M.O.’s match up with current burglaries.