- If you are leaving to go out of town for an extended period, you may request that a roving deputy check on your home as time and duties permit. You should indicate the dates you will be away, whether anyone else is allowed in your home during that time, and a clear description of the cars you expect in your driveway. Vacation watch requests may be sent in using this form (http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/getattachment/867c1b3d-20a7-4cde-9275-662e505f39df/VacationWatchRequest.pdf.aspxto ).
Forms may be dropped off in person at the HCSO District III office (7202 Gunn Highway) or you may contact the District III office at (813) 247-0330 and ask the desk deputy for assistance. If the deputy agrees, you will email the vacation watch form directly to him so that he may print it and place it in the upcoming supervisor’s inbox for approval.
If you come home early, be sure to inform HCSO. Call (813) 247-0330 to cancel your vacation watch.
- If you own a dog and go out of town, have someone come in and care for your dog in your home rather than your taking Fido to an offsite location.
- Inform your neighbors that you will be away. Ask them to report any suspicious activity.
- Use clock timers to activate interior lights and radios at varying intervals.
- Ask a neighbor to take out and bring in your garbage cans.
- Place a hold on your mail and newspapers or ask a neighbor to pick these up daily. You can also place vacation holds on UPS and FedEx packages here:
- Many burglars can open a garage door within seconds using just a coat hanger. Cane bolts, hasps, and 3- or 4-inch C-clamps used on the garage door track all offer excellent protection. Make certain each side of the garage door is secured to prevent a burglar from prying open a crawl space.
A second easier but less secure alternative involves disabling your garage door opener using the switch on top of the wall-mounted unit in your garage.
- The door leading from the garage into the house should be securely locked. The more barriers you provide, the better protected you are.
- Turn off power to your boat lift.
- Place items of exceptional value in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box or safe.
- Avoid posting any information about your trip on social media (e.g., Facebook, Nextdoor, etc.).
- Consider who you have pick you up for a ride to the airport. Do you know this person well enough to know he or she won’t tell someone else you’re away?
Sources: Florida Attorney General’s Office; “Crime Prevention Starts with You” presented by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Tampa Police Department at the Hillsborough County Neighborhood Conference (May 2015)