BRISTOL, Tenn. - Locking your doors, windows, and checking your security system, it's something to keep your home safe while you're away. But sometimes, that's not enough.
That's why police in our region are willing to keep a close eye on your home while you're away this Thanksgiving. Police departments throughout the region have similar programs called "vacation checks" that help prevent burglaries.
There's an extra set of eyes and more blue flashing lights driving through neighborhoods. Bristol, Tennessee police officer Shaun Antonino is checking on homes while families are away during the holidays. "We'll park the car in front of the home, get out, check the windows and doors to make sure everything is locked and secured. Especially the back, normally a burglar might come in through the rear because people can't see them from the front," he said.
Besides locking your doors, it's added security and News 5 learned police will check homes several times throughout the day and night.
Signing up is simple: all it takes is a phone call to your local police department, that you can even make on the drive down. "Just give us the dates and times, and any contact information should a problem arise," said Officer Antonino.
Privacy is a top concern, so police give homes on their checklist codes. But there are some things you can do to prevent a break-in. "You can buy a timer for your lights and they go on and off at certain times to make it look like someone is home," added Officer Antonino.
Police also say it helps to stop service on your mail or newspaper. But these checks are another way to protect your home from the 'what-ifs.' "Any presence of a marked police car is always a good crime deterrent. So the more police officers you see on the street will actually deter a lot of crime," he said.
For even more security, police recommend not discussing your vacation plans on social media websites like Facebook or Twitter.