The free vacation check service is offered to residents year-round. Residents who live in the unincorporated areas or sheriff contract cities can sign up to have a Sheriff Senior Volunteer Patrol come check on their home while they're away.
The senior volunteer patrol will perform a security inspection outside the home Monday through Friday. They check to make sure doors, windows and the garage are locked. They also hide newspapers and packages in a side fence or back patio.
If the patrol sees anything suspicious or unusual, like broken windows or open doors, they call a deputy to investigate.
To sign up for the service, visit sdsheriff.net. Click on the Vacation Home Checks box to get to the form and then take it into your nearest Sheriff’s station or substation to verify your identification.
For those staying home, it’s important not to get too lax with security around the house.
As summer approaches, people take advantage of the sunny weather to do outdoor projects, take their families to fun places, relax and keep cool. It can be easy to forget to close a door or window, but if they are left open it creates an easy opportunity for a burglar.
Sheriff crime prevention specialists compiled some handy tips to help residents better safeguard their homes and vehicles when going on vacation:
- Lock up your home, activate your alarm
- Don't broadcast your plans on social media
- Hold the delivery of your mail and newspaper or ask a trusted friend to pick them up for you
- Buy a timer for your lights and set them in a random pattern
- Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway
- Sign up for a FREE vacation check so Sheriff's Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) members can keep an eye on your home.