A jump in residential break-ins in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows during the past month prompted Mounties to issue an alert Friday, and to advise residents to be extra vigilant.
There were 63 reported break and enters in local homes between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3, said RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop. That's an average of almost two break-ins a day.
"I want to alert our citizens to an increase in break and enters that have been occurring all over our communities," she said. "Our crime analyst advises that the majority of cases involve suspects gaining entry to the garage."
In a large number of the cases, police report the thieves accessed the homes through the garages thanks to unlocked side doors and windows, or garage door openers left in vehicles in the driveway, Dunlop explained.
Vehicles, if keys were readily available, are being taken. Bicycles and dirt bikes, jewelry, and electronics such as iPods, laptop computers, and video game systems are repeatedly coming up on the lists of stolen items, as well.
She said the stereotypical thief is usually a man between 15 to 25 years old, but investigators in this case are advising that some of the criminals involved in the recent break and enters are likely older and many are women.
"If you observe persons who may be in your neighbourhood for an unlawful purpose... we urge you to call police right away and report this suspicious activity," Dunlop said, noting that citizens can help prevent being a victim by following a few tips. "Together, we can reduce all incidents of crime and make our community even safer for all," she said. Tips available at www.mrtimes.com
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