A burglar has been prowling Saanich homes in the wee hours, stealing wallets, iPods, laptops and jewelry while residents are sleeping.
Saanich police say they’ve had eight reports since Aug. 8 of break-and-enters to homes overnight while occupants slept.
Many of the break-ins were in the Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue area, said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie.
Most of the incidents occurred between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., said Eassie, who called it a “rather disturbing trend.”
Police believe all the break-ins involved unlocked doors and that one person is responsible for most of the incidents. None of the homes showed any sign of forced entry.
“There have been sliding glass doors that have been left open due to the heat wave that we were going through,” Eassie said. “There have been side doors that have been left unlocked for other people that live inside the residence, and in a couple of cases, the residences were accidentally left unlocked.”
Unlocked garage doors have also provided an entry point.
Eassie said it’s “very unusual” for a burglar to enter a home that is obviously occupied.
“We’re not suggesting that people need to leave lights on … if they’re home and they’re asleep. The biggest suggestion, of course, is just simply to lock the doors.”
Only one victim reported hearing anything during the string of break-ins. Eassie said the man got up about 4 a.m. after hearing a noise, looked outside and saw someone with a light that he assumed was his neighbour.
“He didn’t think anything of it until he woke up the next morning and found that his wallet and other items were missing from his home.”
Eassie said the burglar is looking for smaller items, including wallets and change purses, and electronic devices such as iPods and laptop computers.
The stolen items were often located close to the doors that were entered, Eassie said. “It’s not believed that these people are going into the homes and wandering through bedrooms or anything else while people are sleeping.”
The burglar is probably roving through neighbourhoods checking for unlocked doors, Eassie said. “It’s very likely that they are, in fact, going door-to-door.”
Police have noticed a similar trend with unlocked cars. Eassie said recent cases of thefts from vehicles could be linked to the house break-ins.
Anyone seeing someone suspicious in their neighbourhood should contact police, he said.
So far, homes have been hit in the vicinity of Cedar Hill Road/Cedar Hill Cross Road, Blenkinsop Road between Mount Douglas Cross Road and McKenzie Avenue, Eric Road (in the Mount Douglas area), Karen Crescent (near Swan Lake), Borden Street (in the Lakehill area), Quadra Street/Reynolds Road and Interurban Road/Marigold Avenue.
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