Sheriff's Departments Holding Vacation Home Checks

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- Thanks to the Fourth of July millions of people are now off work until Monday and many of them are leaving home, but local sheriff's departments are helping give them piece of mind.

Frank Carriglitto just got back from vacation. Although he had neighbors watching over his house he just found out a deputy could have kept an eye on it as well.

"I definitely will do that in the future," he said.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department offers the free service. Sheriff Dick Meyers says deputies typically check on about a dozen homes every week, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

"They'll drive past the front, looking for obvious points of entry, broken glass, broken doors and if they can go around the block and see the back from another block they would prefer to do that as opposed to get out and walk around and draw attention," he said.

Sheriff Meyers says there are also things we can do as homeowners. Things Daniel Cox already does.

"I have lights on the garage and by the door that we turn on when we leave and they'll stay on all the time," Cox said.

Also, put lights inside your home on timers and don't forget about the mail.

"Two houses up they're very good friends of ours and they bring in the mail and the paper so it doesn't pile up," Carriglitto said.

Carriglitto trusts his neighbors but says with some recent break-ins in the neighborhood it would be nice to have that extra set of eyes.

"Yeah I think that could be helpful," he said.

This is only available for people live in Winnebago County, outside the City of Rockford. Rockford Police hope to launch the program by late fall.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Over 2 million Illinoisans are traveling more than 50 miles from home this weekend and that means a prime time for thieves to break into homes, but Sheriff’s deputies are watching out for us.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and all surrounding sheriff’s departments have vacation home check programs. Deputies will drive by your home and in some cases get out and walk around the house to make sure no one’s broken in. Frank Carriglitto says now that he knows about the program, he’ll use it in the future. Sheriff Meyers says what Cariglitto does when he’s gone is just as effective as keeping burglars away.

“Two houses up they're very good friends of ours and they bring in the mail and the paper so it doesn't build up out there and they have a key to the house and they check and make sure that the furnace is running in the winter and stuff like that,” said the Winnebago County resident.

The Rockford Police Department is also working on a getting a vacation home check program started. It should launch in the late fall and volunteers from the Citizens Assisting Police Program will check on the homes.

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