Make sure to keep your home safe while out of town


With Christmas just days away, many people may be traveling out of town for the holidays. Local law enforcement officials are reminding residents to take a few steps to reduce the risk of becoming a burglary victim while away.

Both the Cheyenne County Sheriff's Office and Sidney Police Department offer house watches, which are free of charge.

Joe Aikens, Sidney Police Department assistant chief, said it only takes a phone call to set up the watch, and it ensures someone is keeping track of your home while you're gone.

It's important to remember to let police or deputies know if any lights will be kept on and to also provide the name and number of a local contact in town, he added.

People should also be mindful of what they share on social media, Aikens said. He suggested that one not post about going on vacation or post photos from a trip until returning home.

"And the same goes for posting photos of new gifts," he said. "Don't advertise to burglars."

Additionally, before leaving home for an extended period of time, make sure valuables and electronics are documented and serial numbers are recorded.

"And keep all serial numbers in a safe place," Aikens said.

Most importantly, whether at home or on the road, if something doesn't look right, contact law enforcement.

"If you notice something suspicious, don't hesitate to call," Aikens said. "That's what we're here for. If we don't know about it, we can't help solve the crime."

To request a house watch, contact the Sidney Police Department at (308) 254-5515 or the Cheyenne County Sheriff's Office at (308) 254-2922.


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