York Regional Police is reminding residents of several tips to help prevent thieves from breaking into your home after a recent increase in incidents in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Investigators with the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigations bureau have received reports of eight incidents in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville since May 15, 2020, which investigators believe may be linked. All of the incidents occurred overnight on weekends while the occupants of the home were away. The suspects gained entry by smashing a rear patio sliding door or forcing a window at the back of the home. Once inside, the suspects stole primarily cash and jewellery.
Police are encouraging residents to take proactive steps to help keep their home and vehicles safe. Break and enters are often crimes of opportunity. The more difficult you make it for thieves to break into your home, the more likely it is that they will move along. York Regional Police is reminding our citizens of a few basic steps they can take to protect their property.
- Ensure your exterior lights are functioning and have them on at night, including lights in the backyard around rear entrances.
- Always lock your doors and windows as well as your vehicle doors and garage doors. Secure all basement and ground-level windows and patio doors.
- Do not leave keys or garage door openers inside your vehicle when it is parked in the driveway.
- Do not announce your travel plans or absence from home on social media or your phone’s voicemail.
- Do not discuss the contents of your home with others or leave boxes/packaging for expensive items on display in recycling bins.
- Trim all shrubs and trees so that doors and windows are in clear view.
- If going away on vacation or an extended absence, ask a trusted neighbor to watch your house and make your home looks lived-in by:
- Using timer-controlled lights
- Having mail and/or paper delivery temporarily stopped or delivered elsewhere
- Having trusted people periodically attend for lawn cutting and garbage can placement, etc.
- Arranging for neighbours to park in your driveway
- Install dead-bolt locks on all exterior doors and self-tapping screws in the upper track of patio doors and windows.
- Consider installing a home security system with an audible alarm and video surveillance and ensure that everybody in the house knows how it works.
- Consider storing valuables in a safety deposit box.
- When someone rings your doorbell or knocks on your door, make them aware that someone is home, even if you don’t feel comfortable answering the door. For example, call out to the person that you can’t answer the door right now.
Be aware of suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood and call police immediately if you’re concerned. For more tips and to conduct your own home security audit, visit yrp.ca and click on Crime Prevention.