Public Safety

Free Patrol Keeps Eyes on Your Home When You’re Away

Sheriff Senior Volunteer Patrol members check to make sure the garage doors are secure as part of a free vacation check service. The patrol checks the entire exterior of a home. Image Credit: Photo courtesy of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff Senior Volunteer Patrol members check to make sure the garage doors are secure as part of a free vacation check service. The patrol checks the entire exterior of a home.

Going out of town this summer? Make plans now to have someone check on your home so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re gone. Sign up for free vacation checks from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The vacation check service is offered to residents throughout the year for residents who live in the unincorporated areas or sheriff contract cities. A Sheriff Senior Volunteer Patrol team will check on a home while the owners or tenants are away.

The senior volunteers will perform a security inspection outside the home Monday through Friday. This means they check to make sure doors, windows and the garage are all locked. They may also hide newspapers and/or packages inside a side yard fence or on a back patio.

If the patrol sees anything suspicious or unusual, like broken windows or open doors, they call a deputy to investigate.

To sign up for the service, visit sdsheriff.net. Click on the Vacation Home Checks box to get to the form and then take it into your nearest Sheriff’s station or substation to verify your identification.

Here are some additional tips from Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Specialists on how to lessen your chances of becoming a victim while on vacation:

  • Lock up your home and activate your alarm.
  • Don’t share your plans on social media.
  • Buy a timer for your lights and set them in a random pattern
  • Hold the delivery of your mail and newspaper or ask a trusted friend to pick them up for you.
  • Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway.San Diegans like to take advantage of the sunny weather to do outdoor projects, take their families to fun places, relax and keep cool but don’t forget to close and lock doors or windows. If left open, it creates an easy opportunity for a burglar.
  • Watch this San Diego Sheriff’s Department video to learn more about free vacation checks.
  • Crime prevention specialists also remind people who are staying home to stay alert and maintain the security around the house.