Vacation updates on social media could lead to burglary

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Are you heading out of town for the 4th of July holiday? If so, there are some precautions police want you to take beforehand.

For all the good social media has to offer, there is still plenty of bad.

"There's a case in New Hampshire where at least 18 burglaries and possibly as many as 50 perpetrated by a gang of people who would friend people in the local area that of course did not know them, and then they'd figure out when they were going to be gone and then go steal their stuff," social media expert Dave Hatter tells FOX19's Brett Hoffland.

Hatter says there are privacy options that won't notify anyone where you are.

"Understanding, for example, like if you use Facebook does it have the location feature turned on where it automatically broadcasts where you are? Twitter has a similar kind of feature. So I would say if you have any doubts, if you feel like you don't really understand how this stuff works, you don't know how to control the privacy, then take a more judicious approach be cautious," said Hatter. "Put out as little as possible."

If you do decide to tweet or Facebook memories from your vacation, there are people back home you can trust.

"People are a little more desperate, and they're becoming a little bit more brazen, so home burglaries are becoming more and more common," said Lt. Joe Macaluso.

Delhi Police Lt. Joe Macaluso says when conducting a vacation check-up, they do a whole lot more than just drive by your house.

"We find out who the key holder is, if there's going to be vehicles in the driveway, whether there's going to be lights on timers, and these are all things that you can call your local police department or not you can do to keep your home safe," explained Macaluso.

He says even if the porch lights are on, often times when the newspapers pile up, it's an indicator for a would-be burglar.

"We'll actually walk around the perimeter of your house and pick up your newspapers and make sure it appears that somebody is still staying there," said Macaluso.

The Delhi Police Department says their check-ups are random, and they stop by homes at least once a day. The best part is, they're free.

Many law enforcement agencies across the Tri-State offer this vacation check service. Contact your local police department if you're interested in having your home checked while you're away.

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