Surrey: As warmer temperatures roll in, several Surrey residents will spend more time away from their residences and going away on well-deserved holidays or out-of-town weekends.

Every year at this time, the Surrey RCMP notices an increase in reported break and enters throughout the city. RCMP crime analysts confirm that over half of these break-ins were a direct result of unsecured vehicles or residences.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet says: “A recent trend of break in’s involves a group of suspects specifically targeting unoccupied residences in which the owners either live overseas or are away on holidays. The break in’s usually happen during the day after some of the suspects reportedly drove by the residence several times to ensure no one was home.”

Police have had 17 break and enters in 5 days reported recently in the South Surrey area. As a result, the Surrey RCMP are asking the community to be alert and to remember to lock vehicles parked in the driveway and ensure no valuables are in plain view, including garage door openers, as these can be easily used to enter a residence, even if the doors are locked.

Some additional safety tips on securing your home are, installing a security system, locking doors and windows, alerting neighbours if you plan to be away, and making sure your house appears occupied even when you are not home.

Residents can play a crucial role in keeping their neighbourhood safe by calling the police when they observe individuals or vehicles acting suspiciously or that do not seem to belong in their neighbourhood.

“Residents who call police to report a suspicious person or activity are, in many ways, an extension of our officers into our community,” says Cpl. Paquet. “Many thieves have been arrested just because concerned citizens picked up the phone and called us.”

The Surrey RCMP plans accordingly for this seasonal shift in property crime. Bike Section and Crime Reduction Unit along with other specialized units respond proactively and reactively. Crime prevention initiatives also include the presence of community safety officers and Block Watch volunteers out in our community.

For more information on protecting your property please visit the Protect Yourself section of our website, or the Playing it Safe in the Summer page on the BC RCMP website. In addition to calling our non-emergency number (604-599-0502) to report theft you can also make a report online on our website.