Lawrence Park on alert after break-ins

[attach]3276[/attach]Residents of upscale Lawrence Park are being more vigilant now after a rash of break-ins and thefts have resulted in multiple victims – and often on the same street.

One resident of Dawlish Avenue said she was victimized after returning from vacation.

“We had just come back from vacation…and we left everything (in the car) until the next morning, and the next morning it was gone,” said the resident, who didn’t want to be named.

She added that the car was vandalized in the robbery, which saw everything from a camera to a GPS to golf clubs taken.

“A lot of our stuff was left there overnight, which we never do, but that night we happened to do.”

It’s that kind of thinking Toronto Police Constable Wendy Drummond says has resulted in a lot of robberies.

“It doesn’t matter what kind – from a vehicle, from a home, break and enter – theft is a crime of opportunity,” she said. “It’s two minutes worth of your time and effort that may be the prevention between whether you’re a victim or not. It just takes that amount of time to close the curtains properly, or make sure your door is locked.”

But police say there are several unrelated incidents that have been occurring in more affluent neighbourhoods like Lawrence Park.

The Dawlish Avenue resident said that since the day her vehicle was broken into, she and others in the neighbourhood have been keeping a watchful eye.

“I’m still leery. (We’re) more aware of our surroundings and people in the neighbourhood.” she said. “It’s too bad. You feel like you’re in a good neighbourhood, but you still get targeted.”

These incidents aren’t unique to Dawlish, police reports show that two other residences on the same street were victimized in the month of November alone.

On Nov. 4, a house was broken into during the daytime hours, where quantities of money and gold coins were taken. Then, sometime between Nov. 12 and 14, jewelry and electronics were stolen from another Dawlish Avenue home.

Drummond said since late August thieves have been striking the higher-end areas at all times of day, looking for anything of value, particularly electronics and jewelry because they can easily be sold to pawn shops.

She added that in many cases, actions by the victims made them easy targets.

“Some people were having people make deliveries (to their homes), and yet nobody’s there to pick it up and they’re just telling people the door is open,” she said.

“So that’s something we definitely don’t encourage.”

Some progress has been made recently, as police at 53 division said that ‘several people’ have been arrested and several more have arrest warrants out for them in connection with numerous break and enters in Lawrence Park and Forest Hill.

However, police are stressing that doesn’t mean people can start letting their guards down.

“There’s not one person responsible for the break and enters,” Drummond said. “They’ve made arrests and yet the break and enters continue to happen, so we know there’s more than one person committing these.”

Drummond added that there has been a heightened police presence, but also reminded the public that they should take all precautions to protect their homes as well.