‘Cat burglar’ hits houses in North Langley

 

A thief in Walnut Grove has been breaking into occupied homes at night, and Langley police are warning residents to secure their properties.

Over the week leading up to Oct. 16, there were three burglaries in the area, all of homes while residents were there.

The thief has made off with jewelry, laptops, and other valuables without encountering a resident, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

The thief is taking advantage of unsecured entries to homes, getting in through doors left unlocked, or through garage doors left up overnight.

While no one has been hurt, it has been disturbing for some of the residents affected, said Marks.

Police are recommending that people revisit their home security practices, not just in Walnut Grove but all around the community.

• Safeguard possessions in your vehicle, particularly remote garage door openers. They should not be left in plain sight in a vehicle, if in the vehicle at all.

• Be sure to lock all of your doors, including garage doors, and windows.

• Check prior to going to bed whether you have closed your garage bay door.

• Never leave house keys hidden in an outside location.

• Older automatic garage door openers are relatively easy to hack, so if the system is older than 15-20 years, you may want to upgrade to a newer one that uses rolling codes.

• Consider upgrading windows in garages, which are further away from living areas of the house, with shutters, security glass, or more secure locks.

• If you have items of value, don’t leave them out where they can be easily seen by anyone passing the house. Prevent crimes of opportunity by keeping the bay doors closed if there are valuable items in your garage.

• Keep your yard well lit, including with heat- or motion-detecting sensors.

• Plant rosebushes or thorny plants in front of vulnerable windows.

• Put a secondary lock on windows that prevents the panel from being opened fully.

• If you use a pole in the track to secure sliding doors and windows, make sure it is the right length. It should be within an inch of the track’s length.

• Make sure your gates are locked if you have a fence. Each layer serves as a deterrent. A locked fence is something a burglar must climb over while carrying objects. If the gate is left unlocked, the burglar can just walk right through it.

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