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Lock your home while in your yard to prevent theft: Edmonton police

Click to play video: 'Edmonton police warn gardeners to protect their property' Edmonton police warn gardeners to protect their property
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton police are warning local gardeners about thefts from yards. Sarah Kraus reports – May 24, 2018

With beautiful weather drawing people outside to work on their yards and get their garden in, Edmonton police say robbers are taking advantage of that to break into unattended properties.

Police are investigating a series of thefts from homes and garages that have occurred citywide while homeowners are outside tending to their yards and gardens.

Since mid-April 2018, police have received at least eight reports of suspects entering homes through unlocked doors while residents are outside doing yard work.

READ MORE: Edmonton police looking for man linked to 9 robberies

In one case in northeast Edmonton, EPS said an elderly woman was out in her garden when the suspect entered through the back door of her home and stole her bus pass and $300 in cash.

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Other items stolen include keys, wallets, purses, wedding rings, and personal information such as vehicle registration and credit cards.

Police said there’s also an increase in thefts from garages due to overhead doors being left open longer, and walk-through doors being left unlocked overnight.

READ MORE: Spike in catalytic converter thefts from Honda CR-Vs in Edmonton

“It may be an inconvenience to lock your doors when you are just steps away from your house,” Edmonton police Det. Daniel van den Berg said.

“But unfortunately, these thieves are opportunists, and they are brazen. They know what to look for, and how to get in and out quickly.”

It isn’t clear if the thefts are being carried out by the same suspect, but police said these kinds of opportunistic thefts are common when the weather improves.

WATCH: Video shows Edmonton man catching would-be thief in action, highlights growing problem

Homeowners are advised to keep their home and garage doors closed and locked if they are not within an immediate line of sight, and to report suspicious activity to police.

Anyone who has information about these crimes are asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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