Some of our most vulnerable times regarding theft of personal property occur during the summer months. A number of the more widespread, historical scams involve the unscrupulous act of burglarizing homes while families are attending the funeral services of their loved ones. This information is often obtained from the obituaries in local newspapers and/or word of mouth in rural communities. Another tactic used by thieves is during the summer months when vacation times are at their peak. Burglars often peruse neighborhoods in search of homes that look abandoned or “out of place”. Tell-tale signs include uncollected newspapers and mail, porch lights that are left on around the clock, and stationary vehicles in the driveway. Although we have preached preventive measures for years, we still experience a number of break-ins and thefts because individuals did not take the time to safeguard their home and property with some simple, common sense measures.
As social technology has advanced, so have the opportunities for would be thieves. Posting information on your social media site can have devastating consequences while you are away in your travels. For instance, posting photos and daily commentary about your trip to the beach may sound like fun and make your friends green with envy, but the information is a billboard and invitation for would-be thieves to burglarize your home or outbuildings.
Here are some tips regarding ways to safeguard your home and belongings when travelling:
• Always carry travelers checks and a minimum amount of cash
• Leave one or more lights on a timer when away
• Hold all newspaper and mail deliveries until you return
• Make every effort to make your house appear lived in such as hiring your grass mowed and having your neighbor periodically move a vehicle to a different spot in the driveway
• Request that your local police department or the Kentucky State Police conduct periodic checks during the time frame of your absence.
• Provide a trusted neighbor with an emergency phone number in the event that you need to be contacted
• Do not post any reference to your vacation on a social media network until you return from your travels
Utilizing some common sense approaches prior to taking your vacation can go a long way toward safeguarding your home and protecting your valuables.