ALTHOUGH break and enters (B&Es) are down 17% in Surrey this year, the Surrey RCMP is still seeing a significant number of preventable B&E incidents involving insecure premises and garage door openers.
Between July 1 and September 30, there were 182 incidents where a suspect gained entry to a residence or business because it was either insecure or left open. This method of entry was responsible for 22% of all break and enters across the city in the third quarter. In addition, 35 B&Es were committed where the suspect gained entry to a residence using a garage door opener that was taken from a vehicle.
“These latest statistics reveal how important it is for residents to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal property,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann. “Nothing says opportunity to a thief like an unlocked door or window. Take the extra time to properly secure your property and remove all items from plain sight in your vehicle, including garage door openers.”
Police continue to focus on prolific property offenders, which has helped drive down break and enters and overall property crime, which is down 9% year to date. It is often information provided by residents and business owners that helps the Surrey RCMP’s Property Crime Target Team track and arrest these prolific thieves.
“Our residents are the eyes and ears of the community and their keen observations can help us apprehend prolific property crime offenders,” said Schumann. “In some cases that decision to pick up the phone and call us can make all the difference in helping our investigators connect a series of crimes occurring in one community.”
Surrey RCMP also recommend some other simple crime prevention measures to prevent break-ins such as keeping hedges trimmed, installing motion sensor lighting, and displaying your address at the back of your property so neighbours behind you can report any suspicious activity using your exact address. Residents are also encouraged to join or start a Block Watch.
Surrey RCMP volunteers will be out this fall and winter raising awareness about the risks of leaving valuables behind in your vehicle through the Lock Out Auto Crime (LOAC) Program. Volunteers attend various locations placing crime prevention notices on windshields of parked cars advising drivers of their “pass” or “fail” grade based on what they’ve left in their vehicles. Residents are also reminded about the risks of leaving their vehicle running and unattended as we head into the cooler winter months.
For more information on protecting your home, property and vehicle, visit the Protect Yourself section of the Surrey RCMP website.