Saskatoon police raise alarm over rash of garage break-ins

Saskatoon police say a there’s been a rash of break-ins to residential garages. File / Global News

A recent rash of garage break-ins has the Saskatoon Police Service asking homeowners to be on the lookout.

There have been over 40 reported occurrences since October where entry has been gained to garages with wooden overhead doors, according to Staff Sgt. Darcy Shukin.

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“My role with this service is to examine crime stats for my division, which is the east division, and in doing so over the past few months, I’ve seen an increase of particularly detached garages being broken into by way of entry of removing a panel on a wooden garage door,” he said on Friday.

“At first, I thought it was just limited to the east side but then after I learned through our breaking-and-enter investigators that this is a city-wide issue.”

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Police said tools and machinery including a snowmobile and snowblowers were often taken, but in some cases nothing was taken.

“One of the challenges that we’re having is many times these break and enters are occurring and nothing is actually taken and so sometimes they don’t always come … reported to us as being actual break and enters but may be just a mischief,” Shukin said.

“There’s sometimes that citizens may feel it may not be necessary to notify the police. So I’d like to remind citizens that it’s important to report any suspicious activity like that and if you’re a victim of such a property crime, to report it … so we can act accordingly and conduct efficient investigations.”

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Police are encouraging people to keep a vigilant eye in their neighbourhood for suspicious activity or vehicles in alleyways or driveways that have garages with wooden overhead doors.

“Quite often these garages are situated in rear lanes or back alleys that provide a little bit more isolation for perpetrators to conduct these activities without being detected,” Shukin said.

“And so if you can have people more vigilantly keeping an eye on those back alleys, if they notice any vehicles or people in those areas that aren’t ordinarily in there, to give us a call so we can check on them and if they’re legitimate, so be it. But if not, it gives us the upper edge to possibly find the people who are responsible for this.”

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Shukin said added security can be beneficial to these investigations.

“Also add to the value of having extra security lighting and even video recording in those areas, which can also be beneficial for investigations down the road,” he said.

“(Make) sure that everything is properly secured and fastened and nothing is loose and easily removed is a big thing.”

Anyone with information regarding break and enters is asked to contact Saskatoon police at 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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