(File photo)

Many Surrey break ins could have been prevented, police say

While statistics show a drop in break-and-enters, Surrey RCMP say many can still be avoided

SURREY — While crime statistics show a 17 per cent drop in break-and-enters in Surrey this year, police say many happen because of unlocked doors and stolen garage door openers.

There were 182 break-and-enters between July 1 and Sept. 30 where a robber gained entry to a home or business because it was either insecure or left open.

Police say this method of entry made up 22 per cent of all Surrey’s break-and-enters in the third quarter of 2017.

And, 35 break-and-enters happened because a suspect used a garage door opener stolen from a vehicle.

“These latest statistics reveal how important it is for residents to remain vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal property,” says Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann in a release. “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.”

Surrey RCMP says it continues to focus on prolific property offenders, which they say contributed to the drop if B&Es, and an overall property crime decline by nine per cent year to date.

See also: Surrey RCMP stats say crime indicate 12 per cent drop in criminal code offences

“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 recommends 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 Program.

See also: Surrey RCMP stats for first quarter 2017 indicate 24 per cent drop in violent crime

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 from Surrey RCMP on protecting your home, property and vehicle, click here.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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