Spring break for many families can be a time for traveling and much deserved vacationing. Unfortunately, it can also be a time in which thieves try to take advantage of families being away from their homes. In the interest of keeping your family and possessions safe, there are some things that you should consider anytime you are traveling. The following is a list of recommendations compiled by your Georgia Sheriffs’ Association:
Before you leave:
• When you leave your residence, try to make your home look as occupied as possible. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up mail and newspaper or package deliveries daily. Invest in a few electrical timers to activate lights at the same time you normally do when you are at home. Set your radio on a talk station so anyone listening at a door or window will hear conversation. (Keep the radio on a timer, too.)
• Notify your sheriff’s office that you will be away and ask them to check your residence. Let them know of light timers, alarm systems, and vehicles left visible in the driveway.
• If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, consider arranging for a house sitter to stay in your residence. House sitters water plants, take care of pets, and can also be called upon to keep the lawn mowed so it doesn’t advertise your absence.
• Cancel regular deliveries, such as food, pharmacy prescriptions or pet supplies.
• Before you leave, take a final walk through your home to make sure appliances are turned off and windows and doors are secure.
• Since summer storms can come up suddenly, you may want to unplug electronic equipment such as computers, televisions or fax machines.
While you’re traveling:
• Remember to remain alert and watchful, especially in crowds. Many travelers have invested in small, flat bags that hang from neck cords to store money, credit cards, passports, and other important identification. Avoid carrying wallets in a rear pocket that could be easily “picked.”
• At hotels, avoid hanging the “housekeeping” sign on your doorknob. That alerts the observer to your absence from the room.
• Avoid discussing your travel plans where strangers may overhear you.
• If you are the victim of a theft or any other crime, contact the local law enforcement agency and file a report immediately. Provide contact information so they may keep you updated on any developments in your case.
• Remember to lock doors and windows securely. Always lock the doors in your vehicle.
Anytime that you will be away, we are more than happy to provide extra patrols of your home, business, or both. You can easily sign up for extra patrols by going online at www.townscountysheriffsoffice.com, or by calling our main office number at 706-896-4444.
We hope that all of you have a safe and happy spring break.
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