Hastings and Grand Island -- Police say warmer weather can encourage small thefts and burglaries, but too often they're finding that unlocked homes and items laying out in the open are making it easy for thieves.
Hastings police say they're responding to thefts from vehicles, homes, and businesses, and lately they've seen an increase in car battery and metal thefts.
Sgt. Steven Murphy says those items are valuable targets as scrap prices go up.
"The ones over the weekend were actually taken out of vehicles that were being used by businesses, we've had some where it has been a pile of batteries just that are old batteries that the business hasn't taken to recycle yet," says Murphy.
Police in Grand Island say they also get more reports of home, garage, and car thefts during the summer when open windows and longer days make stealing easier.
"Don't become a victim by allowing someone else the ease of access to your property," says GIPD Captain Dean Elliot. "Lock your doors, lock your house, lock your cars, check on your storage sheds, check on other equipment."
GIPD says they're still investigating a recent series of storage facility break-ins, and like old batteries or scrap metal, it can be an easy target. It's also a crime that might not get noticed right away.
"We can't say that it's a group of people or it's an individual, but the amount of stuff taken from some of these break-ins would lead to believe that it's maybe more than one person," says Elliot.
"One or two people can cause a tremendous up-kick in the number of thefts and burglaries from those types of facilities," says Murphy.
Murphy says they've found that many thieves are opportunists - simply walking down the street and checking car doors to see if they're locked.
Police say just like locking doors, it's up to owners, but they recommend buying better locks and not protecting thousands of dollars worth of property with a cheap padlock.