In the past week, New Westminster has experienced an increase in the number of residential break and enters in various areas throughout the city. The break and enters are being investigated by our Patrol and Major Crime investigators. The break and enters occur primarily in the daytime wherein no occupants are in the residence at the time of the offence.
One of the methods used by the suspects is to attend residential neighbourhoods and knock on doors to determine if anyone is at home. If residents are at home, the suspect will provide an excuse like he is looking for a rental suite in the area.
In addition to the ongoing criminal investigations, our patrol officers are conducting extra patrols throughout various areas of the city, as are our volunteers from Citizens Crime Watch Patrol and our high visibility Bike Squad volunteers. We ask that if residents observe a suspicious person (s) loitering in the neighborhood to please contact us immediately. It is important that the caller makes a quick mental note of suspect description, exact location, and any vehicles associated to the suspect etc. Most importantly, maintain the observation of a suspect from a safe and secrete distance and stay on the phone with our police personal.
Here are a few reminders that we should all practice when it comes to home safety tips;
- Knocking on doors or ringing doorbells is a common tactic for thieves. A doorbell or knock should not go unanswered as this gives the impression that your home is empty. Always use your eye viewer or a window to check who is at your door. Never open your door to a stranger. If a stranger does approaches your home, inquiry through your locked door, as to who they are.
- Always lock up your home, even if you are leaving for a short time or working in your yard. When you are not paying attention, burglars can walk or climb in unlocked doors or windows and quietly exit your home with valuables.
- Keeping a telephone list of important numbers near the phone is not just convenient, but a safety feature as well. Jot down phone number, such as police and the fire department, as well as, your neighbours. If you have to act quickly you can.
- Protect your windows, doors and patio doors by using a secondary locking device and ensure they are always in use. Consider upgrading older locks as insufficient locks can make your home more vulnerable.
- To reduce the likelihood of a break and enter to your residence, do everything you can to make your home appear occupied when you are away: leave lights and a radio on timers, have the lawn mowed, and have newspapers and mail collected.
- Look at the trees or shrubbery located around your property. Consider trimming these back it they create a shield near windows and doors as burglars can use these areas to hide.
- Dark areas are crime attractors. Use some strategic lighting around the exterior of your home, such as using motion sensitive lighting at a tamper proof height.
- Join your local Block Watch or Crime Free Multi-Housing Program as there a number of benefits of being in these programs. Contact New Westminster Police if you are interested in starting one of these programs in your neighbourhood or need additional information on home security.