Thieves targeting vacationers’ empty homes in Saanich: police

Saanich police suspect thieves are targeting temporarily unoccupied homes after a surge of reports over five months of vacationers returning to find jewelry, cash and liquor stolen.

Between March and July, police received almost 20 reports of homeowners returning from a trip to find their house ransacked, said Sgt. Julie Fast.

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Most of the homes were entered through a rear window or door, said police.

Police are encouraging neighbours to immediately report people behaving suspiciously in the neighbourhood.

To avoid being targeted by thieves while on a trip:

• Ensure all doors and windows are closed and locked no matter where they are in the house

• Stop paper and parcel deliveries

• Use motion lights and timers, and activate your home security system

• Tell trusted neighbours, family, friends and block-watch captains of your absence

• Have someone check on your house regularly

• Don’t post information about your trip on social media until you are home

More home security tips can be found at on the Saanich police website.

If you have information on any recent break-ins, call police at 250-475-4321 or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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