The Red Deer RCMP is warning resident to keep their sheds and yards secure during July. (Black Press File Photo)

Backyard thefts prompt warning from Red Deer RCMP

A high number of property-related crimes in Red Deer has led to a warning from the RCMP.

Last month, there were nearly 700 property-related crimes in the city, said police, adding that summer is traditionally a busier time for offences.

Insp. Mark Groves said there are a few simple ways to help make sure yards stay safe.

“Unlocked gates and open garage doors are easy targets for thieves, especially when valuable items like tools or sports equipment are visible and easily accessible,” said Groves.

“It doesn’t take much to secure your property and lock these items away, and it could be what prevents a significant loss of property.”

Some of the tips include keeping garages and sheds locked when not in use, bikes and sports equipment put away securely, use locks on gates and sheds, record serial numbers of equipment and lock all unattended doors, even when you’re home.

“It might seem like overkill to close your garage door when you are outside working or relaxing in the yard,” said Groves.

“But those are the types of opportunities thieves look for and take advantage of. When you are gardening or working in the yard, a thief can quickly take off with an armful of valuables or keepsakes in a matter of seconds.”

Other tips to keep your yard safe include:

· Clearing obstructions and ensuring sight lines of windows and doors, particularly basements;

· Keeping windows closed and locked when you’re away from home;

· Installing anti-theft devices on window tracks and sliding patio doors;

· Pruning shrubs and trimming trees to avoid giving thieves a place to hide;

· Utilizing exterior lighting and motion lighting to deter thieves;

· Maintaining landscaping and lawn mowing to communicate an active presence.

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