LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Lamar County authorities are investigating a burglary is the Lake Serene neighborhood, and with that, department officials are offering some safety tips for homeowners.
Sheriff Danny Rigel said this case is not like many they have seen before, and it's something they still have to investigate.
"They made entry through the garage, we're still trying to figure out how they got access to the garage, but the home owner did what was right, they locked the door between the residence and the garage," said Rigel.
Rigel said in this case, the homeowner who kept their garage door locked did the right thing. He said sometimes, most people just leave that connecting door unlocked, thinking the garage door is secure enough.
"So, they were limited to where they could go in the residence, and kept just to the garage area," said Rigel. "That's what homeowners should do, a lot of people have a false sense of security that if they close their garage door, that they're secure, but if somebody can get in the garage and they can lower the door behind them, they have free access, especially if they can get in the house, so lock that door."
He said another thing people should be aware of is attic access from the garage.
"A lot of residences also have attic access, through the garage, with the stairs that fold down, if somebody gets into the attic, they can go into the other part and just come down through the ceilings," said Rigel. "A lot of different things you need to think about, if you think your house is secure, pay attention…it may not be as secure as you think it is."
One of the best things homeowners can have is security, or motion sensor lights.
"Another thing to have is surveillance lights, the motion detector lights, it's a great deterrent for somebody that's trying to approach your house, when the light comes on they don't know if it's the home owner turning it on because they see something in the yard, or if it's just the motion, so they're going to, probably going to go someplace else with a little less security," said Rigel.
Rigel added that you should never rely on just the garage door to be a level of protection from your home.
"The garage doors, a lot of them, especially the older ones, for lack of a better term are flimsy, if somebody is going to try to break into a residence they're going to find the weakest point," said Rigel. "I would suggest if you do have an alarm system, to further your alarm system by putting it on the door, or putting it in the attic space."
Rigel said that neighborhood watch groups in the county have grown over the past years, and he said that's been a huge help for the county.
"One of the things that we're doing, is growing our neighborhood watch program, over the last 10 or 12 years, we've gone from hardly anything to over 20 neighborhood watches," said Rigel.
But he said, the department always needs help and tips from the public.
"The public, you're the eyes and ears, we've got 500 square miles to patrol, we can't be everywhere at once, so we do need your information," said Rigel.
The investigation into the home burglary is still ongoing, and Rigel said that tools were stolen, but were recovered a short distance away, hidden in a ditch by some pine straw.
If you have any information, contact the Lamar County Sheriff's Department or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP.