Do burglaries increase in the summer?

Last Friday night on the news, there was a report on residential burglaries. Specifically, they mentioned that residential burglaries increase during the summer.

However, the VPD statistics from the past four and a half years show that increases in the number of burglaries are not as seasonal as most people assume. In terms of total numbers, at least since 2002, the summer months have not been the busiest burglary months of the year.

The chart below (click on the chart for a bigger image) compares the total number of burglaries per month on the Westside (the blue line) as well as for the entire city (the pink line). The blue boxed areas highlight the months of June, July and August in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The chart shows that there are actually fewer burglaries in the summer. One interesting statistic that the chart illustrates is that for the past four years, the month of July has always had fewer burglaries than June.


So, should you be less concerned about burglary in the summer?

The real story is the different method of entry of a residential burglary during the summer compared to the rest of the year. As I detailed in a post about the typical burglary, most burglaries tend to happen through the front or back door. However, during the warmer months, people tend to leave windows open and burglars take advantage of this easy access.

Consequently, many summer burglaries often happen through 2nd and even 3rd story windows.

What should you do?

1. Don’t forgot to close and lock all of your windows when you leave. One of the great features of using your alarm is that it will not allow you to arm it until all connected doors and windows are closed. If you still have windows that are not connected to your alarm, give us a call to quote on how much it will cost to add them to your system. Without a doubt, EVERY opening in your home should be connected to your alarm… on all floors.

2. If you regularly bypass some window zones so that you can arm your system at night and still get some fresh air, consider installing fresh air magnets.

3. Keep an extra eye out in your neighbourhood for people using ladders. There were a string of 2nd story burglaries last summer on Angus Drive where thieves used a ladder in broad daylight to burglarize homes. In order to avoid tripping the alarm (because many homes still only have a single motion detector on the second floor… rather than contacts on every window) the crooks used the ladder to gain entry to one room, then climbed back down, moved the ladder over to the next window and stole from that room. It is likely that the thieves were dressed like roofers or some other type of service provider (complete with vehicle) to help avoid looking too suspicious climbing up to the second story of a house from the front yard. If something, or someone, appears suspicious in any way, give us a call at 604.269.9999 and we will be happy to come by and check it out.

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