KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The weather is warm, school is out, and many people are hitting the road for vacation. It pays to put a little time and thought into what could happen to your house while you’re away, because your trip could create an opportunity for criminals.
The Knoxville Police Department says around this time every year, they see an uptick in home break-ins.
“It’s summertime. Everybody’s out, including the thieves,” said Capt. Bob Wooldridge.
Capt. Wooldridge says there are steps you can take to stop those thieves.
“Cancel newspapers for that period of time that you’re gone. Have your mail held at the post office while you’re gone. Leave lights that’ll come on and off,” he said.
You can also request a property watch. The service is free from the police department and sheriff’s office, and can last up to two weeks. A beat patrol officer, who normally takes care of your neighborhood, will get the assignment and your address. The officer will drive through your neighborhood and check on your home.
The officer will get out and look around a number of times during his or her shift.
“That way we’ll make sure everything is safe and sound when you get back,” said Capt. Wooldridge.
Police say it’s not a good idea to send snaps, Instagrams, Facebook posts or tweets while you’re on vacation.
“Absolutely the worst thing you can do because A, it allows people to go online and look at those photos and right away know you’re not home. And B, it’ll actually give the location of where you’re at,” said Wooldridge.
Police say to wait until you get home to share and to make sure you’re not advertising you’re on vacation.
Most police departments and sheriff’s offices offer the service. All you have to do is give them a call, tell them your address, your phone number, and how long you’ll be gone.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office number is (865) 215-2243 and the Knoxville Police Department is (865) 215-7268.