Victoria police are warning local businesses of a series of “sophisticated” break and enters where thieves have been removing glass windows and defeating alarm systems.
Over the past month, officers have been investigating nearly two dozen break and enters, the majority of which are downtown and overnight, that they believe to be part of a thought-out series.
The thieves have been using the sophisticated technique of removing the glass from doors and/or windows to gain stealthier access. VicPD said this approach requires specialized tools and knowledge and, in some cases, also defeats the alarm system.
When the glass removal technique has failed, thieves have resorted to smashing the windows and prying open doors.
In October, Saanich police arrested a suspect after a series of similarily executed break-ins at multiple liquor stores. Between Oct. 2 and 26, six liquor stores were broken into by removing their glass windows or wall panels. Items stolen included wine, beer and other bottled alcoholic beverages.
To protect against thieves, VicPD suggests removing valuables after closing for the day or moving them out of view from all windows, and emptying the cash drawer. It also recommends business owners check that their surveillance system is working, is of useful resolution and captures all potential areas of entry. Owners should also make sure their alarm company has up-to-date contact information for them in the case of a break-in.
VicPD also asks that business owners report any damaged windows or doors, even if an entry hasn’t been made, so it has it on file.
Investigation of this series of break and enters remains ongoing. Anyone with information can contact the VicPD report desk at 250-995-7654, extension 1, or anonymously to Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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