Take your garage door opener out of your vehicle when it's parked.
That's what police in the Tri-Cities are encouraging for regional residents as extra patrols are set to be out and about this month targetting property crime, which includes theft from vehicles.
On Tuesday morning (July 13), Port Moody officers (PMPD) arrested two suspects — one man and one woman — after they were seen breaking and entering an Easthill area home's garage and stole various valuable items, which have since been returned.
Charges have been recommended and an investigation determined the thieves stole the garage door opener from a parked vehicle near the property.
"This is a common technique used by property offenders to gain access into residences," PMPD Sgt. Fraser Renard explained in a statement.
"It is a good reminder to those with garage door openers to ensure they are removed from vehicles when parked on the street."
And that reminder has since stretched across the Tri-Cities.
Both PMPD and Coquitlam RCMP are reporting a recent uptick in related property crime, primarily of or from vehicles.
Police are encouraging residents to lock their vehicles, whether they're parked in a garage or outside, roll up the windows and remove all valuables from inside to deter potential thieves.
This includes garage door openers, house and/or business keys and vehicle registration papers.
"If thieves stole these items, they could use them to commit other crimes including identity theft and break and enter," reads Coquitlam RCMP's latest CompStat report.
Police are recommending homeowners close their garage doors at night and if a vehicle must be parked outside to do so in a well-lit or well-populated area, which can also act as a deterrent for thieves.
Additionally, Coquitlam Mounties are ramping up patrols in the Fraser Mills area where criminal activity has become a hotspot:
- From Joyce Street in the west to Myrnam Street in the east
- Lougheed Highway in the north to Hartley Avenue in the south
Anyone with information on property theft or suspicious activity in their neighbourhood is encouraged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 or PMPD at 604-461-3456.