Police concerned over spike in Oak Bay break-and-enters

Nine homes broken into while owners away

It’s been the summer of burglary in Oak Bay as the number of break-and-enter cases surpassed the district’s 2018 total of 18.

This week Oak Bay Police reported there have been 19 break-and-enters since June 1. Nine of those were at homes with the owner away, said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties.

The deputy confirmed 2018 was a lower year but calls this year’s increase surprising considering there are still four months left.

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Victoria Police spokesperson Const. Matt Rutherford said that while they’ve also seen a spike in theft, it’s been vehicular.

Bernoties said police agencies from across Greater Victoria are working together to identify any suspects.

“The police are requesting the public to be alert of any persons or vehicles in their neighbourhood that appear to be out of place,” Bernoties added. “Note a detailed description of the person(s) or vehicle, license plate, direction of travel and advise the police immediately.”

Two calls of theft came in on Aug. 27. One reported an unlocked vehicle was rummaged through near the Chinese Cemetery. The other had only just discovered his fibreglass dingy was stolen in the 3400-block of Ripon Road.

To help residents prevent theft Oak Bay Police put out a check list including letting the police know. Oak Bay is known for its vacant home check program.

“Police will check on your home only if time permits, and it’s important you have a neighbor or friend that can pick up your mail and check on your home as often as possible,” Bernoties said.

Other suggestions include:

  • Ensuring home alarm works and that someone will respond to activation.
  • Consider using a timer for internal lights to give the appearance the home is occupied. Also consider having motion activated lights around your property.
  • Locking up ladders, garden tools, and bikes etc.
  • Lock all windows, even second floor windows.
  • Consider trimming shrubbery away from doors and windows (they offer concealment while breaking in)
  • Ensure CCTV cameras are working, are free of dust and cobwebs.
  • Consider starting a Block Watch program for your street.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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