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Police protect homes while owners are away with Vacation Watch Program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thirteen homes on average were hit by thieves in Memphis every day in June 2019. It's an alarming number that seems to remain steady during the summer vacation season.

That's where the Vacation Watch Program comes in.

To be apart of the program all you have to do is go to  your precinct, get a form from the front desk and fill it out. It asks simple questions, like when you'll be gone, if there will be any pets at the home, what cars will be parked there and an emergency contact.

From there an officer on every shift will check on your home.

Major Martin Kula let us ride along with him and his officers to give us a closer look at the program.

"We have four shifts, so officers are going to check it as long as time permits."

We watched as they got out of their car and looked around the property. We stood back in case they found something suspicious. They eventually said the home was safe and secure.

"If it isn't, we have a plan of action on how to deal with it."

Kula says they've caught burglars trying to break into homes. He believes this program is a proactive approach to curbing crime. Especially since we uncovered data that shows as it gets warmer, burglaries become far too common.

In May and June of this year, MPD reports 800 residential burglaries. While that number has dropped compared to the same time in the past two years, the hottest months continue to be a hot time for thieves.

Unfortunately, Mary Scott falls into that summer burglary statistic. Her back door was kicked in, and the thief took off with her flat screen television.

"I was scared to death. I'm wondering if they're going to come back," she said.

It's a feeling she hopes can be prevented with the help of the Vacation Watch Program.

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