Summer is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. But, when a lot of people go out of town, it can also become a busy season for thieves. In an effort to combat this, the Mariana Police Department is restarting their annual program called Home Check. Homeowners fill-out a one page form with their address and the dates they'll be away, and officers then inspect the home twice a day until the residents return.
"We check all the doors and windows to make sure the doors are locked, windows are still locked, and that none of the windows are busted out or the doors have been kicked in" said School Resource Officer, Wayne Beasley.
Experts have long advised travelers to make it appear as though someone is home while they're away.Things like a dark house, or newspapers lying in the driveway, can signal burglars there's no one home. Officers said they won't check a homeowners mail, but they will check their windows. And though there's no substitute for someone actually being there, the Home Check program is the next best thing.
"It's a service we can offer that's no cost to the city residents and helps keep their property safe. That's what we're here for" Marianna Police Chief, Hayes Baggett said.
In the twelve years Beasley's been involved with the program, he said he'd never encountered a burglar or problem at a home. But, he and other members of the Marianna Police Department say they're still glad to offer the service just in case. "It's just a great program and I'm proud that we are able to offer it" Baggett told us.He also said it's important for homeowners to let his officers know if they'll be returning home earlier than expected so the homeowner won't be mistaken for an intruders.