Lethbridge Police urging local residents to safeguard their property in order to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a break and enter.
LPS say there is currently a significant increase in break-ins around the city, however they note a number of those incidents may have been preventable.
Data shows for the first seven months of this year (January to July), break and enters in Lethbridge, both residential and commercial, jumped by nearly 22% compared to the same period in 2018.
Lethbridge Police say nearly half of the reported residential break and enters were to garages where the points of entry were man doors or the overhead door. In 38% of the cases where culprits gained entry through the man door it was left unlocked.
In 71% of cases where entry was gained via the overhead door, it was found to have been left open. Further, in 29% of cases where the front door of a home was the point of entry, it was also left unlocked.
The areas most targeted for break-ins include the Westminster, Downtown and London Road neighbourhoods along with Churchill Industrial Park.
LPS tips to reduce the risk of being a property crime victim:
- First and foremost, always ensure doors to your home and garage are locked at all times – even if you are home or working in your yard – and do not leave overhead garage doors open.
- Avoid leaving valuables – tools, bicycles, etc. – unattended within plain view of the street and do not leave any items inside your vehicle, including garage door openers which are commonly stolen and then used to gain access to a property.
- Recording serial numbers, marking tools and photographing items is also recommended as it may assist police in returning property in the event it is stolen and later recovered.
- Locking gates, sheds and deck boxes will make access more difficult for would-be thieves.
- The addition of security cameras and motion-sensor lights may help act as a deterrent.
- Becoming familiar with your neighbours and the regular activities of your neighbourhood can also be invaluable in recognizing when something is out of the ordinary; for example, a suspicious person or an unfamiliar vehicle driving around.
- Report suspicious activity to police at the time of the incident. Call 911 for an emergency or crime in progress or 403-328-4444 for non-emergencies.