By Fernando Alcantara/Garden Grove Journal
The Garden Grove Police Department offers a vacation home check that Garden Grove residents can request before leaving town this summer.
Despite Garden Grove’s less than average burglary crime rate, according to the State of California Department of Justice, taking precautions to leave your home in better hands is always a good choice, and utilizing the service that the GGPD offers is one way to gain peace of mind while on vacation.
According to a preliminary report of crime in 2010 released by the State of California Department of Justice’s website, the number of burglaries in Garden Grove rose 25 percent since 2009 from 372 to 465 in 2010.
This number, however, is still lower than the national average of 716, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics website, www.ucrdatatool.gov.
Lt. Jeff Nightengale of the GGPD advises that families make arrangements in advance and to take the time to fill out the questionnaire regarding the condition the home will be left in to aid those that will be making the home checks.
“A special team of volunteers will make these checks,” Nightengale said about how the service works.
“It’s more than just a neighborhood watch. They are trained police personnel that will look for signs of criminal activity… if something does not jive with what’s going on. Is there a car in the driveway? Is something out of the ordinary? These are all things they look for and will contact the owner to see if this is normal and if not, report it to the police.”
The very popular service is available year round to residents that will be away for a minimum of five days. Arrangements can be made by calling the Garden Grove Police Department at (714) 741-5704 or online at http://www.ci.gardengrove.ca.us/?q=police/VacationHomeCheckRequest.
Vacation checks are not currently available for Stanton and Westminster, although Neighborhood Watch programs are available in both cities. Westminster residents interested in this program should call police services officer, Ja’Nelle Belton at (714) 548-3202. Stanton residents can call Deputy John Harrington at (714) 889-7866.