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Burglary prevention--Santa Cruz Sheriff has new website

Sign in and tell them when to check your house
Posted at 6:54 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 20:54:06-05
NOGALES, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - Holidays have a lot of potential for burglars.  Your home may be packed full of good stuff, and maybe you're out of town altogether.
 
Now, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department has a new way to tip off deputies to keep an extra eye on your house.
 
It's the holidays and once you're done with all that shopping there's a pretty good chance you might be going out of town.  That's about the time you want somebody to roll up in a police of sheriff’s vehicle and check on your house.
     
You can call a lot of departments and ask them to do that but the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department has worked out a way to make it quicker and easier, with, what else, the internet.
      
People who live in Santa Cruz County can go to this special page on the Sheriff's website...Click on programs, click on vacation house check request and fill in everything from when you're away to whether there's a back door to check.
 
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Lt. Gerardo Castillo: "Is there the feeling if you make this easier and more convenient more people will go ahead and alert the Sheriff's Department?"
 
Castillo said, "That is correct.  We're trying to do that, obviously.  It's something that we just started on Monday, live on it so we're gonna obviously, tweak our system as needed and hopefully be able to provide a better service."
     
Lt. Castillo says if one homeowner asks deputies to check a house, they may check other homes on the same street too so there's no tip-off on which house is empty.
     
Besides alerting deputies, the usual advice still holds.  Make it look like someone's still home with lights on timers and by making sure mail and newspapers don't pile up.