Summer took a while to come to the Royal City, but the New Westminster Police Department is warning local citizens that criminals don't take a break.
"Criminals will often target residence on warm summer nights, as they are only too aware that many unsuspecting home owners will leave doors or windows ajar," Sgt. Diana McDaniel said in a press release.
McDaniel offered several observations on how citizens can protect themselves:
* Suspects in break-and-enters use various ways to enter homes and businesses, including smashing windows, prying locks or simply kicking in doors. Other common entry points are unlocked doors and windows.
* Thieves spend very little time in a house. Once inside, thieves are often looking for items that they can physically carry away from the scene. Personal items and valuables, like car keys, purses and wallets, are often within easy reach of the door.
* Local residents should ensure their homes are well-lit and locked, even when you're just working in the yard. Residents are also encouraged to use their alarm system if they have one.
The police are also asking residents to be observant and report any suspicious activity. An example might be a person or vehicle unfamiliar to the observer or a vehicle that enters a driveway, remains for a short time and then leaves. Police are asking residents to report incidents where a person knocking at the door seems surprised to find someone at home or seems to have an implausible explanation for being in the neighborhood. Information as brief as a description of a suspect, or a license plate number is important and may ultimately solve one or more cases.
The police have also issued a notice to parents urging them to keep their children safe by ensuring that they do not have access to open windows. Parents should install window guards to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Guards should be installed in children's bedrooms, parents' bedrooms and other rooms where young children spend time. Whenever possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom. Also, parents should keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.