NORTH FULTON, Ga. — As temperatures rise, so can crime rates, as thieves take advantage of people whose minds are on vacation.
Johns Creek Police Lt. Todd Hood shared some tips to help keep your home and family safe this summer.
Home burglaries are about 11 percent more common in the summer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. If you’re going on vacation this summer, it’s a good idea to notify your local police department, Hood said.
Most local jurisdictions have some sort of vacation watch program which allows residents to request sporadic checks while they’re out of town. Travelers should also ask a neighbor to pick up their mail and should not post on social media about their vacation until they return home, Hood said.
“I know it’s hard, you want to go on Facebook and say ‘Look, we’re at the beach,’” Hood said. “Wait until you get home and then share what your vacation was about.”
Thefts can also happen around the pool and at gyms. Hood encouraged swimmers to secure their valuables like phones, keys and wallets before they dive in.
“It’s very easy to get caught up in playing with your kids in the pool and that’s going to give criminals an opportunity,” he said.
Another summer danger is leaving pets and children in cars. Last year in the U.S., 52 children under 14 years old died of heatstroke after being left in the car, according to kidsandcars.org.
If you need to run errands and don’t want to bring your child with you, you should leave them at home with a babysitter, Hood said. Parents who leave children in cars unattended could face charges, he said.
“Law enforcement is a lot more aware of this happening, and the community is aware so they’re going to call us in if they see something,” Hood said.
Hood also urged drivers to be aware of additional foot traffic especially in residential areas. With school out, there can be children playing in the roads or along sidewalks throughout the day, so drivers should be cautious, he said.
Another local risk during the summer is the Chattahoochee River. Each summer, local fire departments are deployed to rescue people who floated down the river without proper precautions.
When water is released from Buford Dam, the river rises quickly and can leave people stranded, Johns Creek Interim Fire Chief Chris Coons said. Those who plan to be on the river can call (1-855-326-3569) to hear the release schedule each day.
Coons emphasized the importance of wearing personal flotations devices and remaining aware of the time and the conditions of the river.