January is the highest burglary month

Contrary to conventional thinking that summer is the busiest burglary time of the year, it is actually the winter months that are the busiest. In Vancouver’s case, January has been the highest burglary month in 3 of the last 4 years. As I wrote in the summer, there tends to actually be a dip in the number of summer incidents… the difference is in the method of entry (more 2nd story entries and through windows).

This time of year, almost every burglary fits the pattern that I described in my post ‘the typical residential burglary’. In a sentence: thief knocks on your door, learns that no one is home, pries the door with a screwdriver, kicks the door hard enough that the door frame snaps and then heads straight to the master bedroom… emptying the bedside tables and closet. (Click here for a more detailed play-by-play)

The graph below shows the actual number of burglaries on Vancouver’s Westside (the yellow line) as well as the percentage of all Vancouver burglaries that those Westside incidents represent (the blue line). The red circles highlight January 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Please click on the chart to view a bigger version.


This graph also serves to illustrate that the Westside has the most burglaries in the city… by a long shot. The graph below compares the four districts (click here to see a map of how the districts are divided by the VPD) and shows the percentage of all city burglaries that have happened in that district since January 2002 (through to October 2007).


As you can see, the Westside, with 37% of all burglaries, has more incidents than both the Downtown Core (16%) and Downtown Eastside (19%) COMBINED.

Taking a look at the same chart, but with only the 2007 data… nothing much has changed…


These graphs are a good reminder about how busy the Westside actually is.

What have you got lying around the house that you could never replace? What about in your bedside tables and closets? If you haven’t taken the time to ‘five-minute proof’ your most important possessions, we are coming into ‘high burglary season’ and now is probably a great time to review your home security.

It’s a repeated theme on this blog, but I do not know of any tactic more effective than ‘five minute proofing’ to reduce your risk and ensure that a burglar doesn’t get to walk away with your possessions.

FYI, all of the numbers used to create these graphs were supplied by the Vancouver Police Department.

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