EDMONTON – Police are warning Edmontonians to lock their garages after a spike in break and enters in the city’s northeast this summer.
Over the past two months, 44 break and enters have been reported in the Montrose, Highland and Bellevue areas. Of those, 24 have been to garages.
For the same time period in 2013, there were 26 break and enters, and nine of those were to garages.
Police say thieves are targeting garages – most of which are unlocked – stealing smaller items such as tools, electronics and bikes.
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Dog shot during attempted Edmonton break and enter
Police warn residents after string of break and enters in southwest Edmonton
String of break-ins has police warning residents of west Edmonton neighbourhood
“This is more a crime of opportunity,” said Cst. Keith Pitzel with the Edmonton Police Service. “When people leave stuff out in their yard or visible through the window of their garage, leave the doors open, that sort of thing, it just makes it easy for people to come in very quickly, grab a few small items and then just sort of disappear.
“We’ve seen this before, and believe there may be several individuals involved, who may be travelling on bikes and wearing backpacks to carry the stolen property.”
READ MORE: Protecting yourself and your home from a break and enter
Police remind homeowners to keep their home and garage doors locked and:
Lock your vehicles whether they are parked inside or outside the garageInstall deadbolt locks on your doors for added security, and install lights near entranceways to keep the areas well lit at nightHelp police track stolen items by recording the make, model, and serial number of significant items in your home or garage. You can also engrave your name on items, keep the receipts, or take photos, which helps police return the property to ownersReport stolen items to police as soon as possibleReport suspicious activities to police immediatelyBe aware of persons or vehicles in your neighbourhood, and look out for your neighbours
Watch: Edmonton police on preventing garage break and enters
Last week alone there were nine break-ins to private garages in northeast Edmonton; three of those happened on the same day within a few blocks of each other.