Safety tips for spring break trips

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The excitement to trade grey skies for sunshine often leads to social media posts: people sharing when and where they're headed. Investigators say these posts are an invitation for theft.

"We always ask people to remember: social media not only tells people where you are, it tells people where you’re not," said Sgt. Joel Roon with the Kent County Sheriff's Office.

Roon reminds everyone to always make it look like you're home: leave sensor lights on, or in the warmer months, make sure your lawn is mowed. If you're leaving for longer, stop your mail. And if you plan to be gone 10 days or more, the Kent County Sheriff's Office offers a free "vacation house check" service, to ensure nothing at your home looks suspicious.

In general, Roon says the most effective theft deterrent is an audible home alarm.

"Audible alarms are probably the best theft deterrent," he said. "If your house is making a lot of noise, no one’s going to stick around to steal stuff."

When it comes to social media, don't post real-time pictures, Roon says, share them when you're home.

"Real time posts are fun, but they can be dangerous," said Roon. "We have had cases stem directly from social media posts that indicate a family’s not home."

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