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Clay County Vacation Watch program a success

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Updated: 6/19/2013 11:58 pm

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- Clay County Sheriff's deputies have a new plan to protect and serve, even if you're on vacation.

They're keeping a close eye on your home, through the free House Watch Program.

"As we check a residence, we'll check the front and back doors, make sure they're secure. We'll check the windows and the screens on the windows, and make sure they havent been tampered with. We check the locks visually if we can, and try to look at the interior of the residence and make sure it looks undisturbed, make sure there hasn't been any problems there," said Sgt. Steve Coyne.

Coyne let Action News ride along to see just how it works.

We found out Clay County has seen a slight decrease in burglaries.

In May of 2012, there were 61, but in June when most people go on vacation there were only 38.

Deputies attribute that drop in crime to this program and say, not only are they patrolling the neighborhood, but other groups are, too.

"Our Volunteers In Police Services, they have access to marked units that says VIPs on it. They drive by. One of their jobs is to check the Vacation Watch house list," said Deputy Dean Jones with the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Neighbors call it peace of mind.

"I think it's great. I'm going out of town this weekend and I'll definitely have them swing by and check on the house," said local neighbor Harold Hobbs.

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