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Summer vacation prime time for burglaries, police say

Posting vacation details online are an invitation to thieves to break into your house.

Checking in on social media at your hotel’s swim-up bar is an invitation to thieves to break into your house while you’re away, according to Laval police.

Const. Franco Di Genova said summer vacations are the prime time for burglars, especially if they know you’re out of town.

“A lot of people, once they’re on vacation, [for example in] Myrtle Beach or Florida, they put on Facebook, ‘Having a good time in Florida!’ The only problem with that is, you need to check your settings. Anyone can see your Facebook and get the information,” Di Genova said.

He said police see a rise in burglaries at this time of year. He said burglars pick up on clues like piled-up mail and uncut grass.

Valérie Perron knows this all too well. Her home got broken into and robbed while her family was on vacation, with the thieves making off with a 55-inch television, laptops and iPads.

She said since then, the family has put in an alarm system, as well as a timed lighting system to make it seem like the lights are on at night.

“Make it seem like there’s some life there,” Perron said.

She also asks a neighbour to remove junk mail from the porch and take in the mail.

Tips to throw burglars off

  • Turn off geotagging: Turn off geotagging on photos so thieves can’t see where you are, or what you bought while on vacation.
  • Turn on security: If you don't have privacy settings on your social media, do not post things like "Gone to Jamaica for two weeks. See ya!" By doing this, you’ve pretty much advertised that your home is vacant for two weeks. Make sure your privacy settings are high so only your close friends and family can see personal updates.
  • Vacation home staging: Nothing says "we're away on vacation" like a mailbox stuffed with mail. Turn the lights on and ask your neighbours to tidy up your porch and mailbox and, if you’re gone for an extended period, ask them to cut the grass.
  • Break down boxes for recycling: Try to take apart boxes that your new TV or stereo came in when you put them out on the curb so that it’s not obvious you just acquired new goodies.