Vacant houses and property attract, and often become a haven for, criminal activity.

Even though we’re a few years removed from the financial crisis that led to an increase in real estate foreclosures, there are still a number of vacant houses across Lexington County.

We’ve seen criminals vandalize and steal from vacant homes to get their hands on valuable metals that can be found in certain parts of a home.

There are some simple ways to protect vacant houses and your own home if you happen to live near a house that has long been unoccupied.

Boarding of windows and fencing the property are the most practical ways to protect against people who shouldn’t be in or around a vacant home.

If you live in a neighboring house to one that’s long been abandoned, you might consider cutting the grass of the abandoned property. Of course, high grass and unkempt structures send a signal that the home isn’t cared for and is unoccupied.

We all have a stake to protecting these properties against potential criminals who would use the house for no good.

If you live near an abandoned home that’s become a source of concern for you and your neighbors, please let us know about it. Our deputies would be happy to do property checks to make sure all is safe and secure in your community.