CHATHAM, Ill. (WAND) - No one wants to come home from vacation to find their house broken into and their valuables stolen. That's why some local police departments are taking up their own version of house-sitting.
The Chatham Police Department is one of the departments using the program.
Officer David Leach said the goal is to check homes once a day to look for signs of damage.
"We have unfortunately found signs of a break-in in a couple incidents and we have had to notify people on vacation," Leach said. "They are more appreciative when they hear it from us, instead of them coming back and finding it."
The department said one of the most important things to do while on vacation is don't post on social media.
"Everyone wants to post the cool vacation pic on the beach, or with your kids, but that is one of the biggest things burglars will look at," Leach said. "Someone may have 1,000 friends on Facebook, but do you really know them? Are they really friends?"
Other tips include stopping mail and putting inside lights on a timer.
"One of the most common indicators people are gone is if the mailbox is full," Leach said. "Also, we would suggest not leaving a light on for a week. It becomes obvious."
People can fill out a House Watch form at the Chatham Police Department.
Officers recommend giving them a four or five day notice before leaving for vacation.
"You get a level of confidence and security, and it's a nice reassurance that when you're gone, people are going to be checking your home," Leach said.