By Monique Valadez
DIAMOND BAR–There’s one thing you can put on your to-do list this holiday season that will keep your home safe if you’re leaving town.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Diamond Bar-Walnut station is offering to watch your home free of charge.
Tis’ the season for burglars to scout out empty neighborhoods. But, this year the local sheriff’s department is taking extra steps to prevent break-ins through its vacation check service.
“This service acts as an extra set of eyes and ears for homes and neighborhood,” said Sergeant Mark Saldecke with the L.A. County Sheriff Department – Diamond Bar-Walnut Station. “And, it’s free!”
The free service involves a sheriff’s deputy or trained volunteer on patrol monitoring the registered properties, at least once a day while you are away, to check for evidence of possible forced entry or any other suspicious activity, Saldecke said.
“It’s very reassuring for homeowner’s away on vacation as well as for the neighborhood,” Saldecke said of the year-round service.
The patrol officers or volunteers make it a point to get out of their vehicles and conduct a thorough check of the vacant homes.
“We’ll walk through, look at all the windows and doors, check the backyard, make sure the screens are intact,” said Saldecke. “We don’t just drive through the neighborhood. We make sure to conduct meaningful checks of the homes.”
Saldecke also encourages residents to get involved in their local neighborhood watch program that works together with the local sheriff’s to keep a close eye on suspicious activity.
Residents are so appreciative of this service that they often return from their vacation bearing treats to the station for offering a helping hand while they were away, Saldecke said.
To register for the free vacation check service, visit the station located at 21695 E. Valley Boulevard in Walnut or call Sergeant Saldecke at 909-595-2264.
Sheriff’s still recommend a few tips that can prevent your home from being a target: stop any mail or packages from being delivered, put your lights on a timer, keep your blinds closed, and tell someone you trust you’re going out of town.