63 break and enters reported in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Ridge Meadows RCMP are alerting homeowners to a rash of break-and-enters in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows that have resulted in cars, electronics and jewelry being stolen.

Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3, 63 break-ins were reported to police.

“Our citizens can help by observing anyone in your neighbourhood who is acting suspicious,” said Cpl. Alanna Dunlop.

“We urge you to call police right away and report this suspicious activity.”

In a majority of the cases thieves entered the houses by breaking in through the garage.

Other homes were accessed via an unlocked side door or window.

Dunlop said in other cases, thieves got into the house by breaking into vehicles and stealing the garage door remote.

The most common items that were stolen include cars, if keys were readily available.  Bicycles, dirt bikes, jewelry and electronics such as iPods, laptop computers and video game consoles were also stolen.

RCMP say that houses throughout the community are targets.

Investigators have identified suspects and say they are older than your stereotypical B&E thief who is usually young man between the age of 15 and 25.

Dunlop said some of the break-ins have involved a woman.

“Ridge Meadows RCMP have identified a number of prolific offenders who we are targeting,” she added.

• Anyone with information is asked to call Ridge Meadows RCMP at 604-463-6251.

To remain anonymous call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at CrimeStoppers will pay a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.


Security tips

  • You can prevent a break-and-enter by taking a few precautions.
  • Don’t leave empty cartons in your carport, yard or driveway. You are advertising the fact you have a brand new flat screen TV, laptop, or other desirable object to steal.
  • Keep your doors locked even though you may just be in your back yard. It doesn’t take long for a thief to slip into and out of your home.
  • Close and lock all windows each time you leave your home.
  • If you have an alarm, ensure to set it before you leave home.
  • Do not keep ladders or tools outside of your home. If it can be used to gain entry into your home, keep it locked up and out of sight.
  • Always keep your vehicle locked even if it’s parked in your carport or driveway. Don’t be fooled into thinking your vehicle is safe.
  • Ensure your garage is secure. This includes any side door(s) you may have. A quick check at night before going to bed can assure this has been done.
  • While on vacation arrange for someone to shovel snow or mow the lawn and park in your driveway. It’s ideal to have someone you trust house-sit for you so your home is still lived in while you are away. If this is not possible make sure your home looks lived in.
  • Use timers on indoor lights and tamper-proof motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. Lighting is the most effective crime prevention tool since criminals do not want to be seen.
  • Keep your vacation plans off social networks like Facebook. It is easy to gain access to personal information once it’s entered onto Facebook or another social network.
  • Make sure your house number is visible during the day and night. In an emergency, you want emergency crews to find your house number as soon as possible.
  • Install a peephole to see who is at your door before you open it.
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