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Going on vacation? Fill out a vacation card to help police prevent potential burglaries

Published: Sunday, June 23, 2013 6:34 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, June 23, 2013 9:04 p.m. CDT

LA GRANGE – Heading out of town this summer on vacation? Local police are asking residents to fill out a vacation card to help police prevent burglaries or misunderstandings when a house is left vacant.

La Grange Police Chief Michael Holub said June is the most vulnerable month for residential burglaries nationwide, with families often leaving town on vacation in the weeks after the end of the school year. 

Residents leaving town should fill out a vacation card or closed home report at their police station, police said. The information helps police if, for example, a neighbor reports an unknown vehicle in the house's driveway, Holub said. Police would know that the residents are out of town and could look into whether the vehicle belonged to a friend picking up mail, or to an unwanted visitor, like someone trying to break into the home.

In La Grange Park and Western Springs, police will periodically monitor houses of residents who fill out a vacation or closed home card, which can be completed at the respective police stations. Western Springs residents can also fill out the card online.

Police also encourage homeowners to take other steps to protect their home while away, such as having their mail and newspaper deliveries paused, using timer lights, ensuring that locks are sufficient and that windows and vehicles are secure. Holub said he continues to be surprised by the number of homeowners who do not lock their homes or vehicles. 

Holub also said people should write down information of valuables – model number, serial number and description – and take photos of them, which could aid police in finding stolen items. 

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