Summer home checks keep criminals at bay | News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- Headed out of town for the 4th of July?
You might want to put one more thing on your checklist before you go. It could keep you from falling prey to burglars.
"We actually check the doors, see if they're open. Give them a good tug. [We] make sure that everything is secure. Even if it's a two-story house we still look at the windows up there," says Sgt. George Brooks.
Sergeant Brooks knows a little peace of mind goes a long way.
That's why he and a group of volunteer policemen spend hours conducting hundreds of home checks per month.
"When you're on vacation you don't want to get there and say 'God I'm worried about my house. I'm worried about my house.'"
It's a free service for Montgomerians--most utilized during the summer months.
Last May officers did 300 home checks.
In June and July the numbers more than doubled.
And all it takes is a quick call to 311.
"Leave their information of when they're leaving and so forth, the address, and other pertinent information that the 311 operator will ask for," says Brooks.
Officers ride out to the house everyday the homeowner is gone searching for suspicious activity.
"If anything's out of the ordinary we just call," says Brooks.
A vacation home check could mean the difference between catching a criminal or not. If your house is broken into on Friday, but you don't get home until Sunday police could find that burglar long before you make it back to town.
"We have our neighbors and they're very good about watching, but it's just an extra layer of protection," says Barbara Winton.
Hal and Barbara Winton use the service roughly three times a year.
To them it's a no brainer.
"Use it. It does make a difference in how you feel when you walk out and leave everything. And it even makes you feel better when you come home."
Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
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