Vacant Cannon Beach homes could be targets for burglars

Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn

CANNON BEACH — Empty homes in Cannon Beach can attract burglars during the city’s quieter winter months, but homeowners can take preventive steps if they plan on leaving town.

During the winter, Cannon Beach seems to get more burglaries because there are less people in town to fill vacation homes, hotels or motels and be “extra sets of eyes,” according to Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn. “We have the vacation rentals that don’t fill up this time of the year, and without someone in the house, they’re easier targets.”

Homeowners can keep lights on when they are away, and when their neighbors are out of town, watch their homes. If asked by a resident, Cannon Beach police are also able to check on unoccupied houses.

“The biggest thing is having people check and keep an eye on your house when you’re not there, and you can always notify the Police Department when you’re out of the town,” Schermerhorn said. “We put them on a list and drive by to make sure everything looks OK.”

Many second and third homes in town are not properly lit, which homeowners can remedy by putting timers on lights to help illuminate the house.

Cannon Beach police have dealt with several recent burglaries, but nothing different from previous years. Burglars have broken into Cannon Beach homes through garages and entered hotel rooms through sliding glass doors that were left open, allowing perpetrators to take easily accessible items such as a wallet, keys, phones or purse, Schermerhorn said.

Phone scams are another seasonal crime to watch out for. Scammers have been calling local hotels to ask guests for their credit card information.

Through Facebook, Cannon Beach police are reminding hotels to not put callers through to rooms without verifying that the caller knows the party, and reminding guests to not give out personal information over the phone.

“If you have any financial or personal business with the front desk, do it in person and not via the phone,” the Police Department posted Saturday.

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