Nanaimo police report increase in burglaries

Police are warning the public to keep a vigilant lookout for suspicious activity following a spate of burglaries across the city in recent weeks.

During the first nine days of January police received reports of 24 confirmed break and enters to homes, businesses and other structures. The figures show a continued upward trend compared with the same time period for 2013 when 21 break-ins were reported, 2012 when there were 20 and 2011 when just eight break-ins were filed.

Reasons for the uptick in property crimes for this time of year can include recent releases of offenders into the community who fall back into criminal behaviour. Criminals also take advantage of the post-Christmas season when plenty of new items in homes are there for the picking. Store inventories also tend to be high around this time of year.

South Nanaimo is currently being hit the hardest with break-in activity tapering off through central and north Nanaimo.

Police are cautioning homeowners to be sure doors are locked at all times, especially bathroom windows and basement doors, which tend to be favourite criminal entry points.

It is also imperative people report suspicious activity immediately upon witnessing it, to give police the best chance of catching culprits.

“While the recent rash of break-ins is disconcerting, all communities at some time or another experience similar bouts of crime,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “We live in a safe community and have police officers dedicated to ensuring the safety of the citizens they serve. We are actively tracking individuals involved in these crimes and hope to announce arrests in the near future of those involved.”

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