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VPD reminds residents to deter thieves by locking doors, windows

  • Vancouver Police have arrested two people in connection with a daytime break-and-enter this week, and remind all residents to be mindful of leaving doors and windows open as the temperatures rise.

Charles Vorra, 49, and Kristen Cowden, 31, have each been charged with break-and-enter and possession of stolen property, after a break-in to a home near Victoria Drive and East 49th Avenue around 1 p.m. on May 15. An elderly woman was napping inside the residence, and her 81-year-old husband was working in the garden.

“This is an important reminder that thieves will take any opportunity to steal from a home or garden, whether you’re home or not,” says Constable Steve Addison, VPD.

While the number of residential break-and-enters has decreased this spring, compared to last year, the number of cases involving entry through unlocked windows and doors has spiked in the past six weeks. Police attribute this increase to the warmer weather.

“While locking windows and doors is important, people should also remember to put away valuables, such as bikes, garden tools, and recyclables,” says Constable Addison. “These are all things that could attract thieves if left outside.”

The warning is part of a proactive VPD campaign to prevent property crime and so-called “green thumb” break and enters, in which thieves enter through unlocked doors or windows of homes while the residents are busy working outside. In some cases, thieves send accomplices to distract victims on one side of a house, before entering from another side.

VPD encourages all residents to help prevent property crime by talking to their neighbours, joining a Blockwatch program, and calling 9-1-1 immediately if they witness a crime or see something suspicious.