calgary — Police are urging residents to be more vigilant when it comes to securing their homes and vehicles after seeing a rise in reported break-ins this year.

"Right now police are seeing the vast majority of break-ins being committed due to unlocked doors and vehicles as well as windows and garages that are being left open," said Sgt. Doug Crippen of CPS's break and enter team in a release. "It's not isolated to one neighbourhood."

Police say there has been a 51 per cent increase in break-in activity in the first seven months of the year when compared to the five-year average. A total of 2,587 break-ins were reported between April and June 2019 — 654 of which were residential break-ins.

Police say criminals only force entry in about 34 per cent of break-ins and that most of these crimes are preventable simply by ensuring doors, windows, garages and vehicles are locked.

"Right now, we're seeing a number of condos being targeted, where the offenders are actually climbing up the outside balconies because people don't think that three, four, five stories in the air, that leaving their patio door unlocked is going to be a concern."

According to police, there has also been an increase in nighttime break-ins where criminals are entering unlocked homes while residents are asleep and taking electronics, purses, wallets or car keys, which are then used to steal the homeowner's vehicle.

"We've seen a few cases of late," Crippen said, "where victims are at home sleeping, and are being confronted by these offenders."

Kyle Byrne had his truck stolen July 15. It was recovered in Olds, but was stripped completely for parts. Thousands in mechanic tools were taken.

Byrne got a second truck, which almost got stolen. He then installed a security camera on his home, which afforded him a glimpse into potential criminal activity in his neighbourhood.

"You can see some interesting activity sometimes," he said. "People walking up and down the street, checking door handles.

"They'll take any opportunity to steal, steal what you have," he said. "It's really unfortunate that you have to go to these lengths to keep people away from your own things."