TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Before a family announces plans about a vacation, police are suggesting that they think twice about who they tell.
By posting travel plans onto a social media site, family members are making their home out to be a potential target.
Sheriff Greg Ewing, with the Vigo County Sheriff Department says, "Thieves can use that information even with privacy settings. A lot of people leave it wide open sharing with friends of friends of friends; that usually encompasses a large group of people."
Mike Craft, General Manager of General Alarm's says he received hundreds of phone calls throughout past spring and summer months from homeowners returning home from a vacation and find their houses have been robbed.
"We suggest to everyone to try and leave everything as normal as possible. Maybe have the neighbor pick up the mail or newspapers but really just don't advertise it as much," said Craft.
Ewing says, "Thieves will seek out opportunity and the stack of newspapers or mail in the mailbox and alerting people on social networks could lead to opportunity."
It only takes seconds on a social media site to alert everyone what a family is doing and where they are but that information is also what can cost a family everything.
"The best thing to do is either have a house sitter or have someone who can check the house on a timely bases, depending on how long you're going to be gone," said Craft.
Ewing says a good rule of thumb is don't post vacation plans on the World Wide Web but instead comment on how great the vacation was when it's all over.
Ewing also told News 10 that some houses are even robbed during funerals or when a family is gone just for a few hours.
By posting information on the web or in a newspaper; either of those media outlets allow a potential robber to know when a home is empty.
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