Home break-ins expected to rise in the coming months

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Police say home break-ins are the number one issue they come across in the upcoming months.

Realtors say starting in October, they have to keep a very close eye on their properties.

"During those winter months, that's probably when you're going to see homes get targeted because they believe no one's in them," Katie Mckenzie says.

Mckenzie is a Vacation Planner with The Surfside Realty Group.

She says Surfside Realty has 500 properties from Garden City to Surfside Beach and they keep records of items in each.

Mckenzie says they work closely with the Surfside Beach Police Department.

"Whenever one is broken into, we'll immediately notify anyone that's related to the property," Lt. Kenneth Hofmann says.

Police and realtors notice the number one targets are flat screen TVs, but Lt. Hofmann says keeping important numbers might help if your home is hit.

Lt. Hofmann recommends for "the owner to have documented any identification numbers they have off of that - the serial numbers, the manufacturer, the model, of anything that might be missing."

But Mckenzie says most of the TVs in their properties have alarm systems, so when they're ripped off the wall, it sounds an alarm and homes that are left for the season are put on a watch list.

"That allows the police department to drive by periodically and make sure nothing is broken into," Mckenzie says.

Lt. Hofmann says they don't just drive by. Instead, they get out and check out the perimeter of the home while looking at doors and windows.

He explains oceanfront, and properties that are one or two blocks back, are normally the ones targeted.

Hofmann advises to close blinds, keep shrubbery short, and install a deadbolt lock.

"Try to avoid cleaning up to the extent that it's apparent the house is vacant," Hofmann says.

Hofmann also suggests keeping a car in the a driveway year round, if possible.​

The Surfside Beach Police Department says the two most important things to take away are to keep your home well lit and if you are a year round resident, and to call them whenever you see anything out of the ordinary around a neighbor's home.

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