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'9 at 9' steps to do on summer nights to combat crime around your home
With just a few days left until the official beginning of summer, Crime Stoppers and Surrey RCMP are urging people not to get sloppy with their home security during the sun-filled season.
To that end, Crime Stoppers has released their "9 at 9" list of the nine steps you can take at 9 p.m. to keep your property, pets and family safe:
- Remove everything from inside your car – including recyclables, garage door openers and any loose change
- Lock all doors and keep windows rolled up tightly
- Lock up any bikes, ladders and yard work equipment, patio heaters and barbecues
- Lock all garage doors, including the door inside the garage that leads to your house
- Close and lock all doors and windows on your home
- Set the alarm and check your video security equipment – Crime Stoppers says this is easily forgettable in the summer
- Keep an exterior light on overnight to brighten the area around the front door.
- Make sure deliveries from online orders have been picked up from your front step
- If you aren’t home, make sure it looks like someone is by having papers and mail picked up
"People are sometimes a bit more lax about leaving windows and doors, like patio screen doors, open," said Insp. Wendy Mehat of Surrey RCMP.
The 2018 Surrey Police Officer of the Year told CTV News Vancouver that same lowered guard can extend into posting your summer vacation plans on social media, tipping off would-be criminals that you aren’t around.
“We want people to be mindful of that as it can make you more susceptible to thefts and unwanted visitors,” said she said.
Mehat says Surrey RCMP and Crime Stoppers will be stepping up their community policing efforts to deter would-be criminals.
"We have up to seven to 10 block watches that we’ll be adding on a monthly basis, and we’re providing training and opportunities for people to join," Mehat said.
"Never assume 'it'll be ok' just because it’s summertime and things are more relaxed. Crooks don’t go on vacation in the summer, so if you see something out of the ordinary in your neighbourhood, call police right away, or call Crime Stoppers anonymous tips line," said Linda Annis, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers' executive director.
If your property is stolen, Mehat said its important to tell police even if what you might have lost seems inconsequential.
"Make sure you report that, a lot of people if a crime in their mind is too small, like I just had a bike stolen or just had a break and enter and don’t think anything was taken, please report that to us so we can help you."
Plus, information to Crime Stoppers that results in a charge could earn you up to a $2,000 reward.
Tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers a few different ways, including their smartphone app, calling the organization at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.