It's certainly a frightening thought--who might be in your home while you're away at work, or on vacation? Criminals have nothing more to do than think up new ways to commit crimes without being caught. Breaking into someone's home to make meth is the newest idea.
If you thought your home was only as risk of being burglarized when you're not in it, think again! It could also be used as a methamphetamine lab by criminal cookers looking for a place to make the drug.
Head of the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force, Kevin Glaser, says it's a case of criminals trying to find a way to get away without getting caught. Glaser has watched as meth cookers have moved their labs from their homes to state parks to motel rooms to cars and now he says their next stop could be your home while you're out of town or on vacation.
He's seen several cases like the one in Butler County. In that case a 40 year old Wappapello man is charged with breaking into a Butler County home to make meth. And in another case in Williamson County, Illinois, in April, authorities arrested four people for breaking into a mobile home to cook up a batch of meth.
Glaser says if this happens to you, you'll definitely know it. Even though cooking up a batch of meth only takes a few hours, the smell would linger for much longer. And meth makers aren't known for cleaning up after themselves.
So what can you do to prevent this from happening in your home? In both the Butler County and Williamson County cases, it was alert neighbors who smelled trouble. They called authorities when they saw unfamiliar vehicles in front of their neighbors' homes. Glaser says if you're going out of town on vacation or even a shorter trip, let your neighbors know when you'll be gone and ask them to keep an eye on your home for you.