A band of transient criminals is staging house burglaries throughout Nassau County neighborhoods, taking advantage of doors and windows and garage doors left unlocked or open during warm weather, police said in a news release Monday.

Information by the Nassau County police's asset forfeiture and intelligence lead development center and the crimes against property squad said the burglars target a particular area and often work in teams.

The criminals are driven into a neighborhood in a car or van with out-of-state plates. As one person plays the role of contractor or surveyor and distracts the homeowner, the other sneaks into the house, police said.

Police said homeowners can protect themselves with some preventive measures:

Lock doors and windows even when you are at home.

Activate home alarm systems every time you leave your house, even for short periods.

Lock valuables in a safe and don't leave cash and jewelry in a conspicuous place such as the bedrooms, kitchen, or counter.

Residents are urged to report any suspicious activity by calling 911, police said.

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