Residential break and enters are up in the Rutland area and RCMP are prompting residents to ensure homes are locked and secure.
The Kelowna RCMP says they have noticed that this increase in residential break and enters, specifically in the Rutland area, are directly related to home owners not properly securing their residences during the past few months.
“Crimes of opportunity, such as break and enters, and thefts from vehicles always increase during the summer months and this year has been no different,” says RCMP Cst. Clark.
“But, homeowners could help prevent many of these crimes by simply securing their home.”
Clark says that in the last two weeks, 63 per cent of all residential break-ins can be directly attributed to an unlocked or unsecured home with an open window or patio door being the main point of entry.
The RCMP understand that Okanagan summers can be hot but leaving a window or a door open while you're away from your home is exactly what thieves are looking for.
“You wouldn't put a sign on your front lawn telling people that your home is unlocked,” says Superintendent Nick Romanchuk. “But that’s essentially what you’re doing when a window or door is left open or unlocked.”
Thefts from vehicles also continue to be a problem in the area with 55 per cent attributable to unlocked cars and the remainder attributed to valuables left in plain sight.
Wallets and electronics are the usual targets and are often stolen regardless of where they might be hidden in the vehicle.
“Hiding your wallet or your keys inside your vehicle is not an effective means of security as, more often than not, thieves will find it,” adds Supt. Romanchuk.
The RCMP say the financial damage these crimes of opportunity cause can be in the tens of thousands of dollars for a single event, but that damage could very well be avoided completely by simply removing valuables from your vehicle, and locking your home’s windows and doors.