Before you leave for vacation, take these home theft-prevention steps – New Brunswick

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If you’re preparing to pack up and leave for a March Break vacation, spare a few moments for the stuff you leave behind.

Fredericton Police Sgt. Jason Forward said thefts don’t generally go up on the week-long March Break but it is a higher risk time if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time.

Making your home look lived in is essential to preventing thieves from targeting it, he said. That means telling neighbours how long you’ll be away so they can keep an eye on your place, collect the mail and clear the driveway of snow.

Forward also recommends leaving lights on and maybe a television so it looks like people are home.

Neighbourhood Watch Sign

Have a neighbour or friend look after your home while you’re gone, including picking up the mail and clearing the driveway of snow. (CBC)

A basic thing people should do is lock their doors, windows, garages and any other buildings on their property, and lock any vehicles that are sitting outside.

You should also remove spare keys from around the house, particularly if they’re in obvious places — under the mat, fake rock — and make sure any alarm system is armed.

One thing people shouldn’t do is post things on social media while they are on vacation that could let thieves know their home is empty.

Photos online sometimes contain data someone could use to locate where someone lives and if they’re posting updates from their vacation, it’s a sign to criminals that their home is empty, Forward said. 

“It’s a pretty good tool to use for those guys,” he said. “I would discourage people from announcing that they’re going on vacation because that will make them a viable target.”

holding door

Make sure to lock all doors and windows to your home, garage and other buildings on your property, as well as any vehicles sitting outside. (Morakot Kawinchan/Shutterstock)

If you’re headed on vacation for March Break, don’t announce it on social media and don’t post vacation pictures until you get back, Fredericton police say.

“A lot of cameras are hidden … new cameras now people can activate from their phone and they can call police directly if they see someone around their house,” Forward said.

Even if a camera is not operating, if it’s clearly visible it can act as a good deterrent for thieves, he said. If people can get into a house or garage, he said they generally go for big-ticket items and electronics, tools, lawn mowers and snow blowers.



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