Police offering free house checks during your vacation


LOWER PAXTON TWP., Pa. (WHTM) – You can’t have summertime, without summer crime.

“People tend to come out more. They tend to be more active outside, and that’s the same with criminals,” said Detective Gareth Kauffman, Lower Paxton Township Police Department.

Kauffman said the increased crimes aren’t usually violent.

“[People are out more] that leads to a little bit more of an uptick, especially, burglaries, thefts from vehicles — stuff like that — because people are out and about,” Kauffman said.

Whether or not the trends are violent, it’s still enough to ruffle some neighborhood feathers.

“Next street over, I heard some cars got broken into. The one guy lost his goldfish. He had a goldfish pond in his front yard. They killed his goldfish,” said Charles Mills, who has lived in Lower Paxton Township for the past five years.

For over the last decade, Lower Paxton Township have offered a two-week house check for people who are away from their homes.

“An officer will come out — mostly on a daily basis, just to check your house, make sure there are no signs of criminal activity,” Kauffman said.

Forms to have your house checked can be turned in online, faxed or in person. The department asks for information about the home like its security system, what cars are parked at the house or animals on the property.

While the service is far from new, we heard from lots of residents who didn’t know about it, but they said they do know it’s needed.

“School is out and you have strangers walking up and down the street that you’ve not seen for the last 3, 4 years,” Kauffman said.

The service may be more important now than ever, according to Kauffman. He said he would rather receive a call that ended up being nothing rather than have a bigger crime down the line.

“Could be something or it could be nothing, but it’s better that you let us come out and do our job,” Kauffman said.

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