GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Ahead of Thanksgiving travel, officers are reminding travelers that before heading out of town-- make sure your houses are in order.
Cpl. Bryan Herndon is a Crime Prevention Officer with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to good locks and security systems, he says a good illusion can be just as handy for keeping criminals at bay.
"[The] Illusion, perception, that somebody is there in the residence at all times,” he said.
Some suggestions include leaving a sound system on to play music in the home, setting light timers for ones visible from the road, or purchasing a fake television to give the illusion that someone is changing channels.
While these tactics can work well, Herndon says the best way to protect your house is to rely on neighbors or friends you trust.
"One of the best crime prevention methods that somebody can use for vacation is to have that buddy come over and stay in your house,” he said.
Another suggestion is to stop mail when traveling out of town. A mailbox filled with letters or multiple newspapers at the end of a driveway often indicate that no one is home.
Many local law enforcement agencies also offer home checks or vacation checks with enough advance notice.