Surrey RCMP are warning residents in Clayton Heights to close and lock their garage doors following a rash of break-ins in the area.
In the last few weeks, a number of items have been stolen from garages, including golf clubs, sporting equipment, power tools, electronics and frozen food.
“While we see the odd (theft), the last few weeks have certainly shown a rise in our numbers,” said Cpl. Bert Paquet. “Some of these break-ins through unsecure doors and garages have happened in the evening or overnight while, in some cases, the residents were at home,” he added, noting that no one has reported encounters with thieves during break-ins.
Paquet said that some residents leave their garage doors open for extended periods of time, unconcerned someone may walk up and take valuables. While Clayton Heights is considered a safe neighbourhood, Paquet warned that theft in this case is “a crime of opportunity, it’s not a crime of location.”
“Often, depending where you live, you convince yourself that it’s not going to happen in your neighbourhood because it’s not an area known for high crime rates, but these things change,” he said. “When there’s such a cluster of residents that have taken that attitude that it’s not happening here, I think we become just a little too complacent, a little too comfortable.”
As well, Paquet said there have been some reports of thieves stealing items from vehicles parked in garages, such as insurance papers, cheques and garage door openers.
“In some cases, some of the cars had keys in them, making it readily available to steal,” he said. “We’ve had a few incidents – not a lot – but a few isolated incidents where vehicles were actually taken.”
e been issuing door-to-door warnings to residents, asking them to take precautions to prevent theft from their garages and vehicles.
RCMP recommend removing valuables – including garage door openers – from vehicles if you park in your driveway or on the street. He also urged residents to lock their garage doors using the keypad inside their garage.
Anyone with information about the thefts can call RCMP at 604-599-0502.