Keeping crooks away with cameras, apps - Tucson News Now

Keeping crooks away with cameras, apps

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It's the time of year crooks like best, but the police department offers a solution to ensure your house will be kept safe while you are away.  

Debra Childers is always on the road. She travels for work and vacation, but she's not worried when she's away.

"It's very nice to see your home while you're away. You get that sense of everything's fine."

That's because she has a surveillance camera guarding her northwest home. The camera can tilt, pan and take pictures inside her house. She can access this from anywhere.

"You just don't know when something might happen. It's just a precaution, I think."

Local police say they see a spike in burglaries in the summer.

"In the summer time, people tend to go on vacation. Criminals know this so they're always out looking for crimes of opportunity."

Brandon Mayfield with U.S. Alarm Brokers says many people are using a newer cell phone app, which allows you to turn on and turn off your alarm system and control appliances like lighting, thermostat settings and the locks on your doors.

"If your house is being burglarized, you get an instantaneous notification via text or email almost faster than the monitoring center can even call you."

But that can cost you $40 per month with a contract, or hundreds of dollars without one.

So, if you're not looking to spend much, you can always go back to the basics.

Police say burglars also look for full mailboxes, so if you're going out of town, make sure you stop your mail or have your neighbor pick it up.

Also, make sure your doors and windows are locked and don't let your newspapers pile up.

Try to fool any potential burglars and make it look like someone's at home even when you're not.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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