Langley RCMP warn of crime spike in Willoughby

Willoughby is a hot spot for criminals who are stealing from open garages, breaking into vehicles and homes.

Langley RCMP are warning Willoughby residents not to leave their garage door openers in their vehicles after several have been used to gain access to people's homes.

Langley RCMP are warning Willoughby residents not to leave their garage door openers in their vehicles after several have been used to gain access to people's homes.

There has been a recent spike in property crime in Willoughby, with theft from garages and vehicles and thieves using home owner’s garage openers to rob their houses.

“We have a couple distinct concerns to address,” said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy. “First, thieves tend to operate in the cover of darkness.”

Police suggest lighting up the streets and homes as a way to deter criminal activity.

Consider leaving your outdoor lights on all night long, Largy suggested.

If the cost of all-night lighting is a concern, try using energy efficient LED bulbs, she added.

If victims of crime or their neighbours have surveillance equipment, additional lighting will be lead to better quality footage, she said.

Officers from Langley detachment have successfully identified and arrested thieves from surveillance photographs. They are charged, and often convicted and sentenced for their crimes, said Largy.

The second concern is protection of property. Take everything out of your vehicle, police warn. In particular, garage door openers should be removed.

“Once a thief has that, they have access to much more than just the loose change in your vehicle,” said Largy. Several homes have been robbed in Willoughby this way, she noted.

“One last thing — if you are working in the yard and have moved around to the back of the house, please remember to close the garage bay door,” Largy said.

“When you aren’t watching that door, someone else may be, and now they have an opportunity.”

Suspicious activities and non-emergency crimes can be reported to Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.