If you plan to be out of town over the holidays and are leaving your home unoccupied, the Eugene Police Department has some resources and practical tips to help keep your home and property safe.
Debbie Janecek with the EPD says your best bet to keep would-be thieves away is to make it look like someone is there. She says “you might consider having lights on timers, sound on timers so radio or your television if you’re not gone too long, on a timer and then make sure that you close your window coverings so that somebody can’t come up to your door and see the good stuff inside.”
Janecek also advises that residents install exterior motion sensor lights and put newspaper and mail service on hold. You can also ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway. And finally, think twice about advertising vacation plans beyond those who need to know- it might be a good idea to keep your plans off social media.
Another way to protect your home while you’re away is to sign up for the Home Vacation Check Program. The Department’s Volunteer Service Team, specifically their Seniors on Patrol head up the Home Vacation Check Program. Vetted, trained volunteers perform a thorough inspection of your property while you are away.
They work in pairs, drive specially marked police vehicles and wear uniforms that clearly identify them as police volunteers. Janecek says “they’ll come to your home 2 to 3 times each week that you’re gone and they’ll do a complete exterior check of your home, including your backyard if you want to. And they’ll just make sure things are the way you left them.”
The program is for Eugene residents only and for times when you’ll be away between 5 days or up to 3 months, and you have to sign up a week before you plan to be gone. For more information, head to the Eugene Police Department’s website.