Washington County sheriff's deputies are urging residents to report thefts or any suspicious activity after a rash of thefts and burglaries across the county.

“We've had a lot of thefts,” Detective Brian Beckman said. “They're scattered.”

Beckman said the sheriff's office has had reports of thefts from construction sites, garages, cars, outbuildings and mailboxes. In many cases, the buildings were locked and secured.

“We're linking them to several different people,” he said. “It's not like one person is coming in and doing them.”

A variety of items have been stolen, including tools, jewelry, money, golf carts and even a driver's license.

“Whatever they can get their hands on to get a dollar,” Beckman said.

“Everything has commodity these days,” Detective Joe Keas added.

According to e-patrol update provided by the sheriff's office, deputies received at least nine theft and burglary reports in July and seven so far in August. Beckman believes many of the thefts and burglaries are drug related.

“The people that we're identifying have a past history of drug use,” he said.

While there appears to be an increase, Beckman said thefts across the county tend to be cyclical.

“When the weather is decent is when it seems to happen,” he said.

Beckman and Keas said residents can protect themselves by making sure houses and buildings are locked. Additional outside lights could also prevent thefts.

Resident are also encouraged to look around their property and remove any items that thieves could use as a tool to gain entry to a home or building.

“I'm a big proponent of locks and cameras. They are cheap and easy,” Beckman said. “You can go get a couple of game cameras for a hundred bucks. That helps a lot.”

Both detectives said residents shouldn't be afraid of reporting suspicious activity or even attempted thefts.

“If you know that stuff, let us know because then we can set a pattern or look for patterns,” Beckman said.

Anyone with information about a recent theft or to report a theft can call 402-426-6866.

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