Data provided by the Joplin Police Department shows a significant increase in crime from February to March each of the last three years.
Officers say more people head outside during warmer months. They also say that leads to an increase in crime rates.
After the March spike, those crime numbers climb steadily through the hottest month, which is July.
Police say that's because criminals are on the lookout for "crimes of opportunity."
"When people leave their windows down because it's nice and it's warm and they happen to see a purse or they happen to see a CD or whatever might happen to be in the vehicle, so during the warmer months we'll see more thefts from vehicles,” says Lt. Charla Gellar, with the Joplin Police Department.
Police also say you should always report a theft, even if you think it's small.
And while the officers won't necessarily have time to work on it right away, sometimes that crime will help them solve a bigger crime.
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