There’s a new crime pattern in the city: garage break-ins.
Social media reports have surfaced about garage break-ins in the city in the past two weeks. Some of the incidents have been filed with the RCMP, but police can’t say how many cases have been reported.
The break-ins have “unique methods,” said Staff Sgt. Jeff McBeth. He explained thieves usually try to knock the overhead garage door off its tracks.
“They’re using something, whether it’s a vehicle or brute force, and coming in contact with the overhead door, whether it’s a single door or a double door, trying to knock it off its tracks in some manner to allow a person to enter,” McBeth said.
“The manner in the way it’s been done, it’s hard for me to say, but there does appear to be the theme in these (break-ins).”
Red Deer RCMP is looking at all the cases in “totality.” McBeth said the general investigation unit is investigating to see whether the cases are linked.
“Can we say that they’re all associated? Or if they have no association at all? Is it one person, one group, multiple groups, multiple people?
“It’s very early on for us to substantiate any of that. But we’ve asked them to look at them from a total perspective,” he explained.
One Facebook user posted various photos of damaged garage doors on the Community Crime Watch Facebook group Aug. 21 with a caption “all happened this morning Eastview and Morrisroe.”
Another user, posted a photo and a post sharing details of a garage break-in in Morrisroe, which she mentions has been reported to the police.
She said irreplaceable antique hand tools for woodworking, passed down through generations in the family, were taken.
Speaking for the family, she said, “their garage door and multiple others in the area were rammed with a truck to gain access. They only needed about three feet of height to get under and make a hell of a mess and loot the place.
“They are fast and insanely efficient,” she said, adding the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. “in broad daylight.”
McBeth suggests residents with security cameras register with reddeercapture.ca, ensure security lighting and alarms are on, and put a padlock on the garage door when going away on vacation.
The big recommendation is not leaving the garage door open, especially if people have a front-facing garage.
“If you have a front-facing garage, and you leave the door open while you’re working in the backyard for an hour or so, that gives people an opportunity to drive by and see what’s inside the garage and potentially slate you as a victim to come back and steal your items.
“If there’s no need for your doors to be open, visible to the world, make sure everything is safe and secure.”
The Advocate has taken out the Facebook user names in order to protect their privacy.