Calgary, AB,

Increase in break-and-enters prompt warning from police

After seeing a significant increase in break-and-enters throughout the city, the Calgary Police Service is urging citizens to be hyper-vigilant when it comes to regularly securing their homes, businesses, vehicles and personal belongings.

Citywide, there has been a 51 per cent increase in break-and-enter activity in the first seven months of 2019 compared to the five-year average.

“Property crimes are often crimes of opportunity and there are many things citizens can do to protect themselves,” says Sergeant Doug Crippen of the CPS Break and Enter Team. “Right now police are seeing the vast majority of break-ins being committed due to unlocked doors and vehicles as well as windows and garages that are being left open. It’s not isolated to one neighbourhood, it’s happening throughout our city. We are strongly urging citizens to keep their homes, vehicles and garages secure by following the 9PM Routine every night.”

Citizens are encouraged to incorporate the 9PM Routine into their current nightly routine so it becomes a habit. The 9PM Routine includes:

  • Removing all valuables from vehicles.
  • Ensuring vehicles are locked, windows are closed and if possible parked in a garage.
  • Closing garage doors and windows.
  • Locking any person-doors in the garage, including those leading into a house.
  • Checking that all house doors – front, back, side and garage – are locked.
  • Ensuring all windows are shut.
  • Turning on an exterior light.

Police have also seen an increase in nighttime break-and-enters with criminals entering unlocked homes while residents are asleep inside. Often, criminals look for electronics, purses, wallets, or car keys that are then used to gain access and steal vehicles from driveways or garages.

By the numbers:

  • Criminals only have to force entry in approximately 34 per cent of break-ins. Most break-ins are completely preventable by locking doors, windows, garages and vehicles.
  • A total of 2,587 break-and-enters were reported in Calgary from April to June 2019, an increase of approximately 9 per cent from January to March 2019. This includes residential and commercial break-ins.
  • There were 654 reported residential break-and-enters from April to June 2019, an increase of approximately 32 per cent from January to March 2019.
  • A residential break-and-enter occurs approximately every 2.5 hours in Calgary.

Other things people can do to protect and secure their homes, businesses and belongings include:

  • Never leave spare keys for your residence or vehicle inside your vehicle or other obvious hiding spots around your residence.
  • Even if you are at home, keep windows and doors locked, including your vehicle. Only open windows in rooms where someone is present.
  • Garage openers should not be left in vehicles as thieves can use them to gain entry into a home.
  • Consider installing alarm systems and CCTV equipment in and outside of homes and business. Also consider using a car alarm.
  • If you park your vehicle in a parkade, be sure that you do not let anyone else in who doesn’t belong when you are entering and exiting.
  • Report any suspicious people or activity in your community by calling 403-266-1234 or 9-1-1 if there is a crime in progress.

As always, police encourage citizens who have been a victim of a break-and-enter to report it to police by contacting the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or call 9-1-1 for crimes in progress.