NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — When homeowners are away, burglars may prey. Summer is home burglary season and 10 On Your Side is helping you secure yours.
We spoke with Norfolk police about the best practices for protecting your property.
“When they go on vacation, what you want to do is not get out of the routine that you have,” Officer Roger Whitley told WAVY.com. In other words, make people believe you’re still in town.
“Social media is the big one, absolutely, wait until you get back home to post any kind of pictures or say where you’ve been. Do not tell people ahead of time where you are going,” Whitley said.
Your casual Facebook friends may not be very friendly. Telling people where you are is also telling them where you aren’t.
“When that information gets out, you really don’t know who’s going to have it.”
Keeping up appearances is key. Whitley advises you hire a neighbor kid or have a friend mow your lawn and pick up your mail. You can also have the post office stop delivery while you’re away.
Also, make sure you have lights on at night. He recommends a timer, but only when used a certain way.
“What you don’t want to do is get the timer where you get that one light that comes on upstairs at 11 p.m. You want to get them where they kind of rotate, so you get a couple different lights and turn them on and turn them off.”
Motion sensor or solar lights can illuminate the outside. That way if someone is sneaking around, neighbors can see them.
You can also call police before you leave. “You can call up the desk sergeant, let them know that ‘hey, I’m going to be out of town for a week or so, this is my address can you just have patrols come through and spot check things?'”
Contrary to what many think most burglaries don’t happen in the dark of night. They happen most often between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and July and August are the biggest months for burglaries.
Make sure your doors are locked, windows are closed, and if you see something strange in your neighborhood, report it to police.
You can also find more tips on protecting yourself from summertime crime from the National Crime Prevention Council.