Police are urging Oakridge residents to be cautious following a sharp increase of break-and-enters in the area.
There were 15 break-ins reported in the first few weeks of January, with nine the week of Jan. 8 to Jan. 14, according to a Vancouver Police Department crime map.
“Unfortunately there are a number of factors that may lead to an increase in a given neighbourhood,” said Vancouver Police Department spokesman Sgt. Randy Fincham.
“A new resident with a criminal history moving into a neighbourhood or…weather that causes residents to leave windows and doors unlocked may play a role.”
Suspects fit a stereotype
The Kerrisdale Oakridge Marpole Community Policing Centre actively works with the community to prevent crimes like these.
Jeremy Sally, communications director for KOM CPC, said suspects often fit a stereotype: wearing a hooded sweater and backpack, walking without a destination, avoiding eye contact and gazing into homes and yards.
“They often have an aura about them that makes them seem out of place,” Sally said.
He recommended residents record a suspect’s description and make note of which direction they are headed.
“Police take these calls seriously. If they have enough information they will send a cruiser.”
Keeping yourself and neighbourhoods safe
KOM CPC Const. Ryan Hooper recommended residents build relationships with neighbours.
“The more people can get to know their neighbours and be encouraged to report suspicious activity, the better enabled the police department would be…to respond quicker.”
The policing centre provides an engraving service to etch a person’s driver’s licence number or BCID number onto their property to deter thieves.
“We promote engraving because many people have goods that are easy to steal and difficult to identify,” Sally said.
Const. Hooper also recommends the program.
“It’s a fantastic program. If we come across stolen property and these things are engraved, it gives us a lot better access so we’re able to identify and also return people’s property.”
You can contact the KOM CPC about the program at 604-717-3433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reported by Graham McFie