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Police: Thieves targeting tented homes

Kicking bugs out may invite burglars in, authorities in Newport Beach said this week.

The city's police warned residents Tuesday about three recent burglaries that targeted homes being fumigated.

Since July 23, burglars have broken into a home near Hoag Hospital and one each in Newport Coast and Corona del Mar. All three were tented, police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said.

Burglars took jewelry or valuable knickknacks in two cases, but in the most recent break-in, on Aug. 15, they came away empty handed, Manzella said.

All three crimes are still under investigation, so police could not say if they're related, but Manzella said a house tented for fumigation can raise the risk of a break-in.

"It creates a kind of visual draw for someone who might have the desire to commit a burglary," she said.

Police recommend that residents remove valuables and any financial documents from their homes before having them fumigated.

"We really just recommend to homeowners when they're going to leave their property unsecured and unsupervised that they just take some extra precautions," Manzella said.

She suggested that residents who will be leaving their homes for an extended period ask neighbors to keep an eye out or call the Newport Beach Police Department at (949) 644-3717 and ask for extra patrols.

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