I received the following email from John Burpee of Leavenworth Property Services who let me share it with you:
I am sending you this email to alert you of recent break-ins that have occurred on vacation rentals in the Lake Wenatchee and Plain area. There have been several break-ins on vacation rentals since March 2010.
The specific areas that have been hit are as follows - Pine Tree Rd (off of Chiwawa Loop), Beaver Valley Rd and Telemark (off of North Shore Rd.) There have been a total of 5 break-ins according to Deputy Brad Norton of Chelan County Sheriff's Office.
It appears they are targeting vacation rentals and at this time they do not have any suspects and are urging vacation rental owners and 2nd home owners take measured precautions and do frequent checks on their vacation rentals / 2nd homes. It is hard for them to figure out when the break-ins are accruing when the home was last cleaned or inspected days or even weeks before the break-in was discovered.
After speaking with Deputy Norton it is obvious there is a need for security patrol with all the 2nd homes and vacation rentals in the area but unfortunately there are currently no affordable security patrol options in the area. There are a couple of security companies out of Wenatchee but because of the commute the patrol costs don't make since for owners.
Leavenworth Property Services, LLC offers $25.00 courtesy checks for the accounts they service but since they are primarily a vacation rental service company that offers services such as Hot tub service, Maid Service, Window Cleaning and Concierge services they can only offer courtesy patrol checks to their direct owners who use their services because of Washington State security patrol license requirements. We also offer a monthly program that offers biweekly checks and weekly checks and include security warning signs we place on the rental. In the future we plan on retaining our security patrol license so we can help protect your homes but at this time we can't offer it to everyone.
In the mean time we have taken the time to work with some owners and with discussions with Deputy Norton we concluded that owners can benefit a lot from do the following to protect there homes -
1) Make sure you don't have your address on your website. (NOT even your street name). Criminals can take just the street name with a photo of your house and drive the street looking for it. Now we know that using the availability calendars is a must but with your street name, address and knowing when your rental is vacant by looking at your online calendar is a recipe for disaster.
2) Invest in warning security signs. You can buy them off the internet for cheap and they will deter the bad guys. Criminals want easy targets and if they think there is even the slightest chance you have a security system or surveillance cameras they will skip your house and move to the next. Make sure you buy big visible signs not just the little ADT security signs. Get a big warning sign. If you need help finding a good sign just give us a call and we will give you options. For as small fee we can even take it out and hang it up for you if you need us to.
3) For owners who use Leavenworth Property Services, LLC services you can put language on your site stating that we do frequent patrols to the units. Now only the owners who actually use our courtesy check services should do this because you don't want to put this on your site if you don't actually have this service. This will deter the bad guys from putting you on their hit list. It will also deter your guest from getting to crazy if they think there is a chance we may drive by and catch them in the act;)
Well that's it for now. I will keep you posted with any updates in regards to the break-ins. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.
Leavenworth Vacation Property Services, LLC Phone - 509-293-9587