LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Before you pack the swimsuits and sunscreen -- law enforcement advises you to go above and beyond in preparing your property for vacation. Officers say communication and awareness are two main factors that keep a criminal from making your place his home while you're away.
At first glance, they seem like small, everyday tasks...
"Be sure and take your trash out. Put your trash can where it should be," says Officer Bruce Jones of the Little Rock Police Department.
But while on vacation, taking care of your trash and picking up your mail could be the hinging point of a burglary. Jones says plan ahead before hitting the road.
"Have a neighbor or maybe a kid in the neighborhood who wants to make some money come over to your home. They can turn different lights on at different times, on different days," says Jones.
Ed Metsger of the Hillcrest Neighborhood Association says if you don't take measures, you could be targeted.
"If you don't do that sort of thing, it's really like leaving markers or advertisement out for people up to no good," says Metsger.
Metsger says communicating with neighbors is also key to protecting your home.
"I always make it a point, the week before I go on a trip, to let my neighbors know there's not going to be much going on at the house... I'm going to be gone for a week, would you please keep an extra eye out for me," says Metsger.
According to Officer Jones, burglaries tend to spike in the summer months. He suggests playing a radio in your home to make it look occupied.
"We can have some music going, like I say the radio's going on a talk show or something like that," says Jones.
For those with a house security system, make it known.
"You want it prominently posted, we want it out in front of your home, we want it at the back of your home where it says who your alarm company is and it shows everyone that your house is alarmed and that something will happen if someone breaks in your home," says Jones.
Metsger says remember to alert neighbors if you have someone stopping by to check on your home.
Officer Jones tells Today's THV many criminals know the neighborhoods active in crime prevention and target houses with easy access and less community involvement.