Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Officer Dan Long is warning residents to take extra precautions to deal with a likely increase in crime that usually occurs over the summer.

Long says warmer weather typically sees an increase in crimes such as thefts, larcenies and car burglaries. He says the criminals are often committing crimes of opportunity, such as taking items from unlocked cars  or that are left out in the yard after people enjoy a summer evening.

He says firearms are especially valued targets for thieves, and they should never be left in vehicles overnight. The typical  increase in summer crimes isn't limited to Cheyenne--state and national crime rates tend to increase during warmer weather as well, according to studies of crime rates across the state and nation.

Most experts say that's because people are out at night more during the summer, offering more opportunities for theft and other crimes under cover of darkness.