PALM DESERT, Calif. - Abby and Foxy are the German shepherd watchdogs of Karen Diggins' home in Palm Desert. Whether she's out for the day or gets away for the summer, Diggins said she's assured her home is protected.
"The best thing I can say is that I have two dogs and they're very protective. So, nobody comes into my house," she said.
Now that we've officially dived into summer, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department encourages neighbors going on vacation to be aware.
"Thieves searching for vacant homes is common in our area," said Sgt. Angel Ramos.
Before you flee the desert for your relaxing destination, Ramos says prepare your home to protect it.
- Install automatic lights and an alarm system.
- Check the locks to all of your doors and windows.
- Put a hold on newspaper and magazine deliveries.
- Don't let mail pile up, have close friends or family pick it up.
- Hire someone to mow the lawn.
To help keep thieves at bay, take any steps you can to keep your house from looking vacant.
"I have friends check on my house. It's really important to know your neighbors," said Diggins.
Also, as tempting as it is to showcase your travels to your friends on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, wait until you return to share your favorite photos and stories of the travels.
"It's very important that you don't post on social media where you're going and how you'll be out for a period of time. Thieves go on social. They know you'll be gone and you're not going to be home," said Ramos.
Ramos reminds that personal security is everyone's business.
"If you see someone suspicious, call and we'll respond," said Ramos.
For peace of mind on your trip, take the time to ensure your house doesn't become an easy target.