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South Surrey break-in spree prompts police warning

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A recent spree of break-and-enters in South Surrey has police advising residents to take extra care to protect their homes and vehicles from being targeted.

Cpl. Bert Paquet said the warning was issued after police logged 17 break-and-enter reports in a recent five-day span.

The trend "involves a group of suspects specifically targeting unoccupied residences in which the owners either live overseas or are away on holidays," he said in a news release issued Friday afternoon.

Most of the break-ins happened during the day, and it's believed the suspects drove by some of the targeted residences several times to ensure no one was home.

The dates of the crimes were not noted in the release; Paquet said they were not confined to one area or neighbourhood.

Police say the crime bump is typical for this time of year, and statistics show that more than half of such break-ins are a direct result of unsecured vehicles or homes.

Residents are asked to be alert and remember to lock vehicles. Valuables, including garage-door openers, should not be left in plain view.

Other steps that can improve vehicle and home security include installing a security system, locking doors and windows, advising neighbours of extended absences and making your home appear occupied even when you're out. Any suspicious activity or individuals should also be reported to police, at 604-599-0502.

“Many thieves have been arrested just because concerned citizens picked up the phone and called us,” Paquet said.

Theft reports can also be made online, at www.surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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