The Hailey Police Department has seen a “significant increase” in potential vehicle burglaries this month as temperatures continue to warm, Police Chief Steve England said Monday.

Current areas of concern in Hailey include China Gardens, Northstar and Della View subdivisions and the River Street and Galena Drive areas. While no items “of great value” have been reported stolen, England said, signs of rummaging and entry have been observed.

“People are going into driveways and right-of-way [parking] areas and pulling door handles at night. This is something that usually occurs when the weather gets warmer,” he told the Express.

Deputies are performing extra patrols in the above areas, he said, but burglaries “could occur anywhere, without any rhyme or reason.” Unlocked vehicles remain the biggest target.

“It’s very rare to see smash-and-grabs in our area. I can count those cases [in which] windows are broken on one hand,” England said. “This is more of a crime of opportunity. If you always lock your vehicle, you aren’t going to become a victim of theft.”

The department is urging residents to keep their windows rolled up and store valuable items--including electronics, jewelry, wallets, medications and even handguns--out of sight. Garage door opener remotes are another “valuable” that might not come to mind right away, England added, and allowing a thief easy access to one could result in a home burglary.

Signs of entry, such as vehicle doors left open or dome lights left on, can be reported to the Hailey Police Department at 208-788-3531.


Early-season heat puts pets at risk

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office has also seen an uptick in calls about dogs locked in hot cars over the past two weeks, Chief Deputy Will Fruehling said Monday.

Between Memorial Day weekend and June 5, the sheriff’s office responded to six calls about dogs locked in hot cars in Ketchum, Fruehling said. From March 16 to May 28, the office received only two calls about dogs in vehicles, “one being a dog that appeared cold.”

Temperatures in Ketchum and Hailey hit an abnormally high 88 degrees over the past weekend. According to a Thursday statement from the sheriff’s office, the interior temperature of a car can reach 100 degrees in just seven minutes on a 90-degree day.

Anyone who believes an animal is in immediate physical danger should call 911.

“If you are just concerned but do not see signs of physical distress, please call Blaine County Emergency Communications at 207-578-3531,” the sheriff’s office stated.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com