Langley RCMP. (Black Press Media files)

Langley RCMP. (Black Press Media files)

Langley RCMP say garage door break-ins are on the rise

People are cautioned to remove openers from vehicles and keep doors locked whenever possible

Once again in the Langleys, RCMP are noticing an increase in residential break-ins where thieves are using the garage door opener to access the home.

“If you notice suspicious people lurking around vehicles in your neighbourhood, immediately report the activity to police,” said the RCMP in a recent press release. “If at all possible, take note of any descriptors for the individual or license plates for related vehicles. Often times, it is this information that provides us with a viable suspect for property crime in the area. And video! Video surveillance can be very helpful.”

If a home is broken into, RCMP stressed that the incident needs to be reported to police.

“There is the possibility the culprits may have left physical evidence behind (fingerprints, DNA) and officers are trained to recover this evidence for testing,” the release continued.

Police may be able to reconcile information provided about suspicious persons or vehicles in the area at the time with the circumstances surrounding your break-in, which could result in arrests, charges and the return of stolen property.

Corporal Holly Largy, media relations officer for the Langley RCMP detachment, said ideally, they would like to avoid this situation altogether.

“You wouldn’t normally leave your house key in your vehicle, and the door opener is practically a key to the palace,” Largy explained. “Please consider removing the opener from your vehicle each day, particularly when you are parking outside.”

Largy said the second thing to remember is to lock the inner garage door so criminals aren’t able to access homes or family.

“Two small things can make a world of difference,” she assured.

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• The RCMP listed several things to think about when drivers park your vehicle for the night.

• Don’t just walk away

• Park in a secure, well lit area

• If you can – park in your garage or in your driveway

• Wait for the garage door to close behind you

• Keep your garage door opener out of sight

• If you’re parking on the street outside your residence, consider taking your garage door opener with you

• Use an anti-theft device, or an immobilizer if your car has one

• Remove all valuables, including your keys

• Put anything that might tempt a thief in the trunk – even empty shopping bags

• Always lock all your doors and close your windows – even if you will only be away from your vehicle for a minute

• Never assume your vehicle won’t attract a thief

• Avoid a build-up of old insurance decals on your license plate

More information at http://langley.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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