Police reminding travelers to lock up if going away for spring break
TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Many area school districts are preparing for Spring Break.
West Richland Police Sergeant Ryan Boyce told Action News a few things folks taking advantage of the week off should do to keep your home safe from intruders.
"We get busier in the summer months, we definitely do. Our calls go up," he said,
The sergeant also said asking a friend to house-sit should be the first thing you do.
If that's not an option, he said its important to at least make it look like someone is home.
"People don't want to break into houses that are occupied," he explained. "They're looking for unoccupied houses that are easy targets, where they know nobody is there."
Sgt. Boyce said to put your lamp and tv on a timer, and ask a trusted neighbor to pick up any boxed deliveries that show up while you're away.
"We just don't want mail stacking up, newspapers stacking up around the door," he said. "We don't want it to look like someones been gone and the house is empty."
The sergeant said waiting to put your pictures online until you're safely home goes right along with that.
“We have lots of friends and want to share our experiences and what we’re going to do. We’re excited about going on vacation, but don’t post it on social media,” he said.
Many law enforcement agencies in the area offer vacation house-checks, or extra patrols.
Boyce said these are a free service provided by the force, but you have to ask.
He said West Richland's all-volunteer Citizens Police Academy serve as a second set of eyes watching for anything out of the ordinary.
"If there's anything suspicious that they find," he said. "They notify us, and we'll check on it."
Boyce said the last thing on the list is also the easiest to do, and forget.
"When you're leaving your house or vehicle, please, shut those windows and lock the doors."
How request an extra patrol:
- Kennewick: Call non-emergency dispatch to request an extra patrol.
- Pasco: Call main department phone line to request an extra patrol.
How to request vacation house-check:
- Richland: Print and complete Vacation house-check form. A signature is required. Turn in at the police station prior to leaving for vacation.
- West Richland: Request form at West Richland Police Department main window.
- Hermiston: Print and complete Vacation house-check form. Turn in for officers to check.