Police in 33 Division are warning residents of a noticeable increase in both residential break-ins and thefts from autos.
Detective Tony Diviesti of the division’s major crime unit says in the case of the residential break and enters, every year there tends to be an increase once September comes.
“It’s typically throughout the division, there’s nothing in a specific area at this point that we’re noticing,” he said of the area bound by Bayview Avenue to the west, Steeles Avenue East to the north, Victoria Park Avenue to the east and Eglinton Avenue East to the south.
“Around September, for whatever reason, we find an increase in residential entries,” he said. “Whether that relates to school being back or not, we’re not 100 percent sure.”
In any case, Diviesti says there are actions residents can take to prevent becoming victims, including clearing away newspapers and mail from your porch if you’re on vacation, ensuring your lights and motion sensors work and being vigilant in keeping watch for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood.
“Neighbours are home during the daytime, which is when we find the majority of our (break and enters),” he said. “If someone is acting sort of in a suspicious manner we want to encourage people to contact the police.
“We’ll come out and have a look and make sure these people have a legitimate reason for being out and about,” he added. “We want people to take a little bit of extra precaution and make sure they’re aware of their surroundings.”
As for auto thefts, Diviesti says the increase has been seen along the Don Mills corridor running from Finch to Lawrence avenues, as well as a section along York Mills Road stretching roughly between Leslie Street and Victoria Park Avenue.
On Oct. 1, 33 Division police responded to a theft-from-auto call on Grove Park Crescent, near Sheppard and Leslie. Following an investigation into two men seen in the area, three days later 25-year-old Barry Chevrier and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, were arrested and now face a combined 45 charges in relation to 13 thefts from autos.
“We’re looking at other occurrences that might be related, but at this point that investigation is completed and before the courts,” Diviesti said. “(The arrest) did have a slight effect (on the number of occurrences) … (but) to say that these two individuals were responsible for all the theft from autos in the division? It would be foolish of me to say that.”
As a warning to vehicle owners, Diviesti said the thefts have largely been happening in underground garages, with GPS systems, change and briefcases being targeted.
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