Tips to avoid break-ins while on vacation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Tips to avoid break-ins while on vacation

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MADISON (WKOW)-- Summer means vacation for a lot of people and because of that, it's also the time of year when break-ins are more common.

“Obviously with the nice weather, people are gone more, so we encounter that kind of stuff more,” said Andre Poehnelt, a Fitchburg police officer.

Jane Zagrodnik with Baer Insurance recommends leaving a light on and having someone mow your lawn, so there aren't obvious signs no one's home.

“I think having a friend or neighbor come over, pick up your newspapers either take them to their house, put them in your house, same thing with the mail,” said Zagrodnik. “I don't believe in stopping it, it's just another sign nobody's around.”

Some police departments, like Fitchburg have a vacation watch program. You can fill out a form to let officers know when you will be gone.

“We'll also swing by and take a look around the property and make sure nothings obviously damaged or broken or that kind of stuff,” Poehnelt said.

And it's tempting to post your vacation plans on social media, maybe take a picture and post it to twitter, instagram or Facebook, but that can make you a target.

“A lot of times we hear people say hey I'm going to, wherever it is, and I'm gonna be gone this day to this day and sometimes people don't realize who can actually see that post,” Poehnelt said.

But if you do slip up, and leak your vacation plans, if you have insurance they'll likely still cover the damage.

“Insurance does cover sometimes, stupidity as I call it,” Zagrodnik said. “I mean it really does but just be safe and when you are away make sure your belongings are secure.”

Parents should also discuss with their kids, the risks of letting others know your plans and posting to social media.

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