HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – Thieves are thinking outside of the box -- using crawl spaces to steal your stuff. It just happened to one family living in Hopewell.
Most residents we spoke with say, they never thought about putting a lock on their crawl space. Now, they're being encouraged to do so.
"Mine isn't locked but I can lock it. It got hinges on it and everything," said Clarence Easter, a Hopewell resident.
Easter says he's not surprised to hear that thieves are getting on their hands and knees and using crawl spaces to access and steal other people's belongings.
"I'll be locking my crawl space and keeping a close check on locking everything up especially when I'm not here," said Easter.
The crime most recently happened Thursday evening at a home in the 2200 block of Granby Street in Hopewell. Police say the thieves got away with lawn equipment.
"A lot of the time the crawl spaces are on the side of the house. It's a location people wouldn't be watching," said Sgt. Michael Walls.
Police call it a unique method. It's one Laura Jones never thought about or heard of.
"This is new to me. I used to keep my lawn mower, different tools, gardening stuff under house," said Jones.
Jones has been a victim of a burglary in the past.
"It makes you feel like what's going on. It's an invasion," said Jones.
Now that she knows about the, crawl space tactic, Jones plans on taking action.
"I'm going to have to put on new hinges. I may even have to buy a new door and I'll put a lock on it," said Jones.
It's a move police encourage, whether you store items in your crawl space or not.