Residential Break and Enter: North Side of City

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(THUNDER BAY, ON) โ€“ A woman had come home from being out and about Friday evening, only to find that her home had been broken into. She tells us that it appears that nothing was stolen.

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Upon her arrival at home, she noticed the front door was wide open and showed signs of forced entry. She suspects that break and enter tools were used to pry the front door open. A call was made to the Thunder Bay Police Service immediately. Police took a report about the Balmoral and John area incident.

The home that was broken into had multiple dogs in it at the time the break and enter was happening. Nothing was reported stolen from the home and the homeowner believes the dogs likely scared off whoever was at the door.

Break and enters are considered a โ€œcrime of opportunityโ€ when the goal is to steal property from the building to exchange for cash or to keep for their own use. Sometimes, break and enters only serve a violent purpose, to harm the people in the home. These types of break and enters are much more serious.

Did you know?

  • Residential break and enters happen every 90 seconds in Canada
  • Over 80% of break and enters occur during daylight hours
  • The majority of break and enters are done by amateur burglars without the use of sophisticatedย tools
  • Most entries are made through a ground-floor or basement window/door
  • Most burglars utilize speed, force and concealment to gain entry to a building

Walk around your home a couple times, and think about how you would gain entry if you were a motivated criminal. Do you see an easy window to pry open? Are your exterior doors hollow instead of solid? Lower your odds of becoming a victim to this crime.

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Some tips to secure your premises!

  • Close all of your curtains/blinds when the sun goes down so that would-be burglars are unable to scope out what you have.
  • Ensure all doors and WINDOWS are locked when you leave your home/building.
  • Make sure your window locks cannot be opened from the outside. If they are, contact a contractor to have them assess and solve the problem.

Make your home appear occupied when you are not home. You can use timers to maintain a change of lighting patterns in the home. When you leave your home for short periods, leave the TV on to trick would-be burglars into thinking someone is there.

Protect your most valuableย assets in your home/office by marking or engraving them with a unique identifier that only you know about. Make a video and/or take photos of the contents of your home in case a theft does occur, you know what is missing more accurately. Keeping smaller high priced items such as jewelry in a safety deposit box or an unlikely place (not in your bedroom).

Securing the exterior of yourย property

Make it more difficult for would-be burglars to force entry in your home. Below is a list of numerous things you can do to your yard and exterior of your building to deter criminals from making you their next victim.

  • Have your shrubbery cut back/down so that it does not block doors and windows
  • Install a substantial amount of lighting on your property as possible
  • Metal doors and frames provide the best protection against forced entry. Ensure all exterior doors are solid and not hollow
  • Using a fencing style that wonโ€™t conceal a burglarโ€™s activities reduces the burglarโ€™s confidence to enter your yard. If you canโ€™t see out of your yard, others canโ€™t see in
  • Replace any glass that is less than a meter from all door locks with laminated or tempered glass. This will add extra strength to the glass when burglars try to smash it to gain entry by unlocking the door
  • Doors with hinges that are on the exterior of the home should have non-removable center pins that are not easily tampered with
  • Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors
  • Place hinged security bars over basement windows. Ensure to keep the keys for these bars nearby in case of the need for an emergency exit
  • Pin sliding patio doors together when closed. You can also drill a hole in the upper track and insert a screw that extends out into the runner to prevent the door from being lifted up and out of its track
  • Do not keep ladders outside, as these can be utilized by criminals to gain access to yours or your neighbourโ€™s roof. Also, cut back any trees that may aid in this access as well.

What not to do!

  • Do not install a nameplate outside of your home. Would-be criminals can use this information to find your phone number and call to see if you are home.
  • Never leave a note on your door or outside your home telling people you are not home.
  • Do not leave spare keys in obvious places such as the mailbox or under the doormat.
  • Never leave cash in a handbag or in plain sight.
  • Never leave doors to your home unlocked when you are in the yard or in a different part of your home.

Vacation preparation

Thinking about going on a vacation? Be sure to consider your home/office security as well. It is vital to make your home appear as if it is still inhabited while you are away. Enlist the help of only the most trusted friends, family and neighbours. Here is a list of things for you to consider.

  • Stop all mail delivery.
  • Have someone come by to cut the grass and shovel the snow.
  • Cancel all deliveries during the time you will be gone.
  • Setup electronic timers to have lighting patterns change throughout the day/night.
  • Ask a neighbour to put one of their garbage bags out in front of your house on garbage day.
  • Have a radio set up on a timer to turn on and off throughout the day.
  • Ask a neighbour to park in your driveway.
  • Have someone come by to pick up any flyers that get delivered.
  • Do not talk about your vacation plans with strangers or service people.
  • Use your work address on your luggage tags so that a would-be burglar cannot locate your home through leaks in security staff.
  • Double check the garage door is locked.

What to do if your home is burglarized

  • Never stay โ€“ always put your safety first.
  • Never confront the burglar or attempt to block their exit route.
  • Immediately leave and go to a neighbours home or nearby location to contact the police.
  • Once you have discovered a break-in at your property, make sure to report it to the police before you contact your insurance broker to arrange a time to meet with an adjuster.

With files from SGI Canada

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