Don't Be a Victim: Vacation tips

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - The kids are out of school and many families are getting ready to head out on a summer vacation.

Before you go, police have some advice to make sure your home stays safe from criminals. Whether you are enjoying life on a beach or maybe taking on a roller coaster with the youngsters, the last thing you want to be worried about is criminals targeting your home. Don't be a victim.

First, you should notify your neighbors if you feel you can trust them. You can also let police know.

"You can contact your precinct. You can do this by phone, e-mail, or in person and you can give your address and we will actually put your residence on what's known as an extra patrol notification, where we will conduct extra drive-bys. We will check your residence to make sure everything is in order and nothing is tampered with," said SPD Crime Prevention Officer, Sharif Lockett.

Use a timer to set your lights to come on. Also, stop mail service or get someone to pick up your letters and newspapers.

"Having mail come to your residence and just constantly piling up in the mailbox is a giveaway sign that no one has been at home for an extended period of time, so one thing we try to recommend is that you can contact the post office and ask them to hold your mail," Officer Lockett said.,

As tempting as it can be, don't post your travel plans or vacation fun on social media until you're back in town.

"There are people that can see your social media that are not your friends, or even some who you think are your friends that may try to take advantage of that and they may find out where you live and they may go inside your residence and try to break into it or try to steal your property so we always try to say wait until you come back from vacation and then you can post pictures and say, 'I went on vacation and had a great time.

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