VANCOUVER -- Police in Vancouver say they've arrested and recommended charges against 40 people in connection to commercial break and enter crimes.

Those arrests were made "over the past few weeks," police say.

Police began raising concerns about an increase in commercial break and enters last month, prompting the department to install a trailer camera for increased surveillance in Vancouver's downtown core.

In a news release issued Tuesday, police said efforts to curb these crimes are ongoing.

"We have seen an increase in commercial break and enters due to businesses being unoccupied, vacant, and there's not as many people in the streets,” said Sgt. Aaron Roed.

"We do know that many of these criminals who are targeting businesses during commercial break and enters are known to police. We have dealt with them in the past. In fact, a few of these individuals have been charged and released and then committed the crime again."

Vancouver police say businesses can help deter criminals by moving items away from windows and out of view, using window shutters to reduce visibility, upgrading locks, increasing outdoor lighting and checking in on businesses frequently, even if they're closed.

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association calls the increase in commercial break-ins unprecedented and says this kind of crime, combined with major revenue declines due to lengthy closures, could put businesses in a position where they can’t afford to re-open.

That’s why the DVBIA has hired their own private security guards to patrol downtown.

"We felt that we needed to take this preventative measure really early on,” said DVBIA president and CEO Charles Gauthier. “Primarily because we did feel that this was going to be an issue, with an uptick in commercial break and enters."

A number of businesses in the downtown area have already boarded up their windows to discourage break-ins, including Coach, Dior, Aritzia and Lululemon.

Among the recommended charges are break and enter, theft and possession of stolen property. Crown counsel is currently reviewing them.