CALGARY -- With warm temperatures forecast to continue into next week, police are warning Calgarians to be mindful of falling victim to crimes of opportunity by leaving doors and windows open or unlocked.

"We're seeing an increase in residential break-and-enters with detached garages, which are typically a nighttime occurrence," said Sgt. Doug Crippen of the CPS centralized break-and-enter unit.

"Property crime, including break and enters, car prowlings and auto thefts, continues to affect citizens across the city. In many cases, simply locking up and taking the opportunity away from offenders is enough to stop the crime."

Residential break-and-enters generally increase by about 20 per cent during the warmer months and police said since March, investigators have seen them shift from daytime to nighttime hours

Earlier this month, police said crime in Calgary had significantly dropped during the pandemic.

"We're asking citizens to be mindful of securing their homes, business properties, vehicles, garages and other belongings every night before going to bed to minimize these crimes of opportunity," police said in a release.

Officers are encouraging Calgarians to practise what they call the 9 p.m. Routine, which was adopted in 2018 from a county in Florida and sees citizens secure their property before heading to bed.

"The routine is simple, every night before going to bed we want all citizens to get in the habit of double checking that their vehicles, property and residence are secure," police said in a release.  

"Offenders will often go down a street checking vehicles and houses for doors left open. By simply locking your door you could avoid waking up to an intruder in your home."

The routine recommends: 

  • Removing valuables from vehicles
  • Ensuring vehicles are locked, windows are closed and if possible, parked in a garage.
  • Closing garage doors and windows
  • Locking any person-doors in the garage, including those leading into a house
  • Checking that all house doors – front, back, side and garage – are locked
  • Ensuring all windows are shut
  • Turning on an exterior light