How to protect your home from break and enters amid a typical summer spike in cases

Leaving a window open on a hot summer day can lead to an intruder entering your home, warn Calgary police. Getty Images

Calgary police are warning people to protect themselves against break and enters, saying warm weather normally leads to an increase in cases.

According to police, residential break and enters typically spike by 20 per cent in summer months.

With the recent hot weather Calgary has been experiencing, Sgt. Doug Crippen said more people are opening windows and doors of their homes, leaving them more vulnerable.

“People are out in their yards, they’re leaving stuff out and they’re leaving doors open – that type of stuff,” Crippen explained. “In many cases, simply locking up and taking the opportunity away from offenders is enough to stop the crime.”

Read more: 4 heat records set across Alberta Tuesday amid summer hot spell

Police are asking people to help reduce the potential for crimes of opportunity by following their so-called 9 p.m. Routine.

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“The routine is simple,” police said in a Thursday news release. “Every night before going to bed we want all citizens to get in the habit of double-checking that their vehicles, property and residence are secure.”

The 9 p.m. Routine was adopted by the Calgary Police Service after a similar campaign in Florida in 2018. It recommends:

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

Nighttime break and enters increasing amid COVID-19

Police said while they have noticed a general decrease in daytime break and enters in Calgary amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have observed an uptick in nighttime break and enters.

“Now that some pandemic restrictions have been relaxed, investigators are seeing a recent increase from May to June, with approximately 150 reported nighttime break and enters into detached garages to just over 200 incidents, respectively,” police said in a news release.

Read more: COVID-19: Police investigate graffiti on Calgary’s Chinese Consular-General building as possible hate crime

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“One thing that we do see that is common to a lot of our investigations…Is there is a drug component to it,” Crippen explained. “Typically, addictions are fuelling a lot of the behaviours.

“They need to get property, or things that they can trade or sell, to take care of their addictions.”

How to protect your home from break and enters amid a typical summer spike in cases - image

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