By Kevin Woodhouse
The city of Montreal’s police department (SPVM) released a statement noting heightened vigilance is necessary due to an increase in residential break-ins happening within West Island communities, notably the municipalities covered by Station 1 situated in Kirkland.
SPVM provided some safety precautions for residents that include ensuring that thieves cannot easily access the second story of a home via a left out ladder or unlocked storage shed, locking doors and windows even if the owners only leave for a few minutes, encoding valuables with an etcher machine that is available through your neighbourhood police station and even getting a home alarm system with motion detectors.
Station 5 Commander Mohamed Bhoudid told The Suburban that unfortunately, break-ins “are a fairly normal occurrence but we have not faced a spike like other stations.”
Bhoudid also explained that often an increase in residential break-ins in a specific neighbourhood or community could be caused by “a particular group who increase the stats and then once are caught after intensive period of activity, levels resume to normal.”
At Station 1, that includes Senneville, Baie d’Urfe, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Beaconsfield and Kirkland, there was a substantial increase in break-ins during the month of October.
“We put in place a task force and sent our officers to door to door to give info pamphlets and to visit all residences that go broken into in the affected areas,” Commander Richard Thouin told The Suburban.
“Since November, we have only two break-ins to report, one in Baie d’Urfe and one in Kirkland,” said Thouin. “We will continue with this strategy as the Christmas season tends to increase the number of break-ins usually.”
Thouin said that witnesses who have come forward observed that would be thieves would knock on doors during day light hours and if no one was home, they would then try to gain access to the domicile by the back entrance or by gaining entry to the second floor.
If the would be thieves had someone answer the door, “the homeowners would get distracted answers from the subject so if anyone sees this kind of behaviour, call 911.”