Let us all be observant to enhance community safety

42 Division is asking residents to stay alert because of a number of residential break-and-enters in north Scarborough last month.

42 Division has been experiencing a spike in residential break and enters over the past several weeks and we are asking for your assistance by being observant and on the look-out for anything that looks out of the ordinary or suspicious in your neighbourhood.

The suspects have been targeting homes where the front of the residence is either concealed or obstructed by overgrown bushes, hedges, trees or glass enclosed vestibules.

In several of these break-ins, investigation has revealed that the suspects had been acting as door-to-door solicitors or canvassing in an attempt to avoid suspicion or detection.

One of the most effective tools the police have for fighting and preventing crime is the people of our community. You know who lives and works in your area, plus who doesn’t appear to belong or is acting suspicious.

What makes a person a suspicious person?

  • Knocking on your door and asking for a random name or address
  • Walking along the street and checking out properties
  • Looking into cars and walking onto the personal property of others
  • Door-to-door solicitors who don’t have proper identification/literature or knowledge of the product(s) or service(s) that they are supposedly soliciting.(e.g. lawn care and not being able to provide a price list or quote of services offered)
  • Person(s) found on private property, in areas that are not normally accessible to members of the public. (e.g. in a backyard behind a gate/fence or secured garages)

What to do if you see a suspicious person?

  • Observe the person’s movements and direction of travel
  • Obtain the best detailed description of the suspicious person(s)
  • Do not count on others to call the police
  • Report suspicious people or vehicles on your street or neighbourhood to police at (416) 808-2222
  • If you witness, or are the victim of, a break-and-enter in progress, call 9-1-1 immediately

How to increase your personal and home security

  • If a stranger comes to your door, do not let him or her in and always ask for identification
  • Have monitored alarm and video surveillance systems installed
  • Keep list of serial numbers for home electronics
  • Don’t keep large amounts of jewellery or money at home, use a secured safe
  • Make sure your front door is clearly visible to pedestrian traffic. If shielded by overgrown shrubbery, cut, trim or remove any overgrown shrubbery or trees
  • Lighting can be a great security measure. Consider installing lights controlled by timer or motion detectors.
  • Make certain that ladders, ropes or any other tool that would make it easier for someone to gain entry into your home are locked securely away
  • Remove any garbage or recycling containers from the bottom of driveways

If you see someone doing something you know is illegal or locate an unauthorized person in a secure area, call police right away. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get to you, and the better our chances of locating the person you saw.

During the month of April, 2015, there have been five residential entries where a white van was seen in the northwest area of Scarborough. If you see a white cube van in your neighbourhood that does not appear to have any legitimate business in your neighbourhood, please try to obtain a plate number and a direction of travel and call to report it.

In one of the these break-ins, the homeowner observed a man entering the front door. The man then turned and fled on foot.

The witness described the man as white, late teens or early 20s, 5’7″-5’9″, thin build and having short buzzed brown hair.