Keeping Vacant Homes Safe During Off Season

OCEAN CITY, Md. – As the days get cooler, local vacation hot spots like Ocean City again return to their calmer off-season vibe. But as many renters and owners head back to their lives away from Ocean City, the properties they leave behind, could be targets for criminals.

“Since it's the end of the summer, a lot of people are leaving their summer homes, their second homes here in Ocean City,” said Lindsay O'Neal, Ocean City Police Department Public Affairs Specialist.

That makes for a lot of empty streets in the fall and winter months.

“In this complex we're the only ones that live here year round,” said Ocean City resident Judi Masten.

She's among the approximately 7,000 permanent Ocean City residents. During the summer tourist season, 300,000 people flood into the beach town, but as that temporary population heads out, would-be criminals could be heading in.

“We do tend to get burglaries during this time of year,” said O'Neal.

Ocean City police want to do what they can to give property owners peace of mind, through their Residential Security Checks service.

“They'll go to the home, look at the door, look at the windows, make sure there's no pry marks or any signs that anyone has either broken in or attempted to break in,” said O'Neal.

Officers are willing to check on a property as long as a resident gives them a heads-up, whether they're leaving for the season, or just a week.

“They have their hands full in the summer, but they're still out there in the winter and we feel very comfortable about that,” said Gary Masten. “I think I feel more comfortable in the winter,” said Judi Masten.

Residential Security Checks are actually available all year long for any residents with property within town limits.

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