Ways to protect your home from burglars during summer vacation

Posted at 6:12 AM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 07:12:03-04

During the summer months, the amount of burglaries goes up. However, there are simple things you can do to make sure you do not become a victim. 

Officer Bill Koehn with the crime prevention unit for the Overland Park Police Department gave us the following tips:

  • Become friends with your neighbors. Neighbors can spot when something is out of place better than a police officer because they know who does and does not belong. Look out for each other especially when someone is out of town!
  • If you are on a summer vacation, have someone watch over your house and give the illusion someone is home. This includes picking up the mail or any package left at the house, putting out the trash, and finding someone to mow the lawn.
  • Keep a clean lawn and garden so the home looks lived in. Keep shrubbery down to 36 inches or less so no one can use your landscaping as a place to hide.
  • Make sure the outside of your home is well lit. You don't have to go crazy, just make sure easy access areas like doors have a light. Koehn said automated lights are a good idea and to have them go off in between 8 p.m. to midnight in the summer months.
  • Close the garage door, even if you only plan to have it open for a few minutes. Koehn said most summertime thefts are because a garage door is open. Burglars usually steal sporting equipment and items out of cars, but Koehn said it's not uncommon for underage kids to go into garages and steal alcohol out of refrigerators.

The Lenexa Police Department also recommends not leaving remote garage door openers inside cars and blocking access to the cord on your garage door. 

Koehn, along with other police departments throughout the metro, recommend security cameras.