CLINTON, Ill. (WAND) - Local law enforcement want to remind residents about ways to protect your home and car this summer.
Chief Ben Lowers with the Clinton Police Department said as it warms up, the foot traffic in neighborhoods increases. Summer crime has arrived, and Chief Lowers said his department has already responded to a number of car burglaries.
"As the weather heats up we experience more amounts of car burglaries, but more times than not, these are when cars are left unlocked," said Chief Lowers.
Chief Lowers said, while Clinton is a small community it' still important to keep things locked up. He encouraged people to not only lock up homes and cars, but also garages.
"So we like to remind people to lock your vehicles and remove all valuables from the vehicle." explained Chief Lowers.
As many head on vacations and weekend getaways, Chief Lowers reminds residents to make sure their homes are protected. He encourages people to have a neighbor, relative or close friend have a key to the home so they can check on things. He added stopping the mail and paper will help, putting lights on timers and in addition to if it's a longer vacation to have someone cut the grass and do landscaping.
"A home monitoring system is a wonderful thing, but we know not everybody has that or is able to have that," explained Chief Lowers. "So there are steps you can take to help."
The number one way to protect your home Chief Lowers said is to stay off social media. He explained by posting photos on Facebook and social media accounts, it shows a criminal that no one is home.
"Nobody can wait to share their family pictures and the fun they are having, but keep that a secret until you have returned," said Chief Lowers. "With social media today, there is just too much advertisement of people being gone. I can go through my own friends list and tell you where everyone is in the country and in turn that's telling us where they are not."
In addition to protecting you home, some smaller police departments throughout central Illinois offer a vacation monitoring service. The Clinton Police Department said they offer a vacation watch program. If someone is going out of town, they can call the dispatch center, answer a few questions, and then an officer will check the home. Chief Lowers said it's important to have services like this in his community.
"It's public service, it's customer service. We're a small town and we look out for each other," said Chief Lowers.
Other steps people can take is investing in security lights. Chief Lowers said if there is ever a problem be sure to contact authorities.