Going Away for Labor Day? Police Offer 7 Tips to Deter Home Break-ins

Labor Day weekend is a popular vacation time, but empty homes present far too easy prey for thieves.

As homeowners pack up and leave for the long Labor Day weekend, their empty homes present a tempting opportunity for thieves.

With both Macomb and Clinton townships reporting multiple home invasions in the last several weeks, Patch reached out to Macomb County Sheriff's Det. Sgt. Melissa Stevens and Clinton Township Police Lt. David Dunn to get a few tips on how vacationing homeowners can best protect their homes.

  1. Make sure your home doesn't give the outward appearance of being empty.
  2. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail or newspapers. Newspapers that pile up on the driveway or the absence of the mail truck (if mail is stopped) can both indicate an empty home.
  3. Leave a car in the driveway with the garage door opener and any valuables removed.
  4. Put indoor lights on timers and consider motion-sensor lights for outside the home.
  5. Use an alarm system. Dunn says alarms that alert local authorities are best.
  6. In the event that an intruder does break in, Stevens suggests keeping valuables out of sight and not in obvious places such as under a bed or in jewelry box on a dresser.
  7. Both Dunn and Stevens agree, never post that you'll be going out of town on Facebook or any social media site, regardless of how secure you believe your privacy settings to be. 

Dunn also suggests letting a trusted neighbor know you'll be going out of town and encourages residents to always call 911 whenver something seems suspicious in their neighborhood.

"People are so hesitant about calling us and we miss so much that way," he said. "If their gut says something not right, let us come and check it out."

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