Communities across Edmonton are reporting increases in theft. Griesbach is no exception. Edmonton Police Services has shared the following crime prevention tips – along with advice on what to do if you have experienced a break in. To report a theft, please contact EPS at the non-emergency line: (780) 423-4567 or #377 (celluar). Only call 911 if a break in is in progress and you feel in eminent danger.
Protecting Your Home
Your home is the most valuable asset you have and it is worth protecting. Take the Home Security Quiz to give you an indication of the level of security in and around your home and use this Home Security Checklist to help you protect your home.
Here are some tips to help you keep your home safe.
When at Home
- When in your backyard lock your front door and vice versa.
- When in the home, it is a good idea to keep your doors locked.
- Consider keeping your blinds/curtains closed at night so people can’t see in.
- Consider installing an alarm system.
- Have an emergency kit prepared.
- Never leave your children at home alone.
- Be wary of strangers coming to your door.
When on Vacation
Vacation is a time for fun and enjoyment. You can make each trip more enjoyable and carefree if you take a few simple steps to reduce the possibility that your house will be burglarized or vandalized while you are gone. A vacant house, or one that appears to be unoccupied, is an appealing target for a burglar.
- Arrange to have your mail picked up and consider stopping newspapers.
- Remember to have the grass cut, the leaves raked or the snow removed as necessary.
- Use timers on a few lamps in rooms where the light will be noticed from outside the house.
- Have a neighbour check both inside and outside the house every few days. Ask them to pick up items delivered while you are away.
- Ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway / designated parking stall.
- Have someone put out your garbage cans on garbage pick-up day.
- Don’t announce your vacation on your voicemail or social media.
In Your Yard
The following outdoor belongings are often targeted by thieves:
Ladders: If you keep ladders out, be sure to chain or padlock them. A ladder can be used to gain entry to second story windows. If at all possible, store the ladders in a shed or garage.
Tools: Put tools away after a day of yard work. Lock them in a shed or in an enclosed garage area. Screwdrivers, hammers and pry bars can be used to break into your home, garage, or vehicle.
Tables and chairs: Use a chain or a cable to lock your patio furniture.
Bicycles and other ride-on toys: Always put them in a garage or shed. If you do not have either, lock them to something that can’t be moved.
- Trim trees and bushes that could conceal burglars, especially around windows and doors.
- Keep your yard maintained to give the house a lived-in appearance. Cut grass, rake leaves, remove dead branches and debris.
- Install motion-sensitive outside lights to brighten dark areas around doors or windows.
- Ensure your fence and gate are in good repair – check for holes and damage that may need repair. Keep your gate locked at all times and ensure the lock works properly. A lock or latch that self closes and can be padlocked when you are away is recommended. Install privacy slats in chain link fences.
- Plant spiky plants along the perimeter of your yard and under windows to deter intruders.
Your vehicle can be the second largest purchase you make and protecting it is very important. Learn how to prevent your vehicle from being stolen and prevent anyone from stealing your belongings from inside.
Theft of Auto
Most car security is inadequate. Thieves are able to break into and drive away with most makes and models of vehicles in less than a minute. Research shows that particular kinds of thieves favour certain models because they have found ways to easily steal them. Many of these stolen vehicles will be used in other crimes and are often involved in police pursuits. These pursuits can become a safety risk to the public and the police officers involved. Learn more about Theft of Auto.
Theft from Auto
Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and therefore preventable. By following some straightforward advice, and working together, we can ensure that this type of crime is reduced in your community. Learn more about Theft from Auto and how you can protect your vehicle.
In Your Community
- Get to know your neighbours – residents should become familiar with the routine in their neighbourhoods.
- Be aware of strangers and look out for each other.
- Leave keys and emergency phone numbers with a trusted neighbour.
- Keep up appearances – a well-tended neighbourhood is less attractive to criminals and vandals.
- Get involved in crime prevention programs.
Apartment Crime Prevention
Here are some crime prevention tips for keeping yourself and your property safe if you live in an apartment.
- Never allow strangers into the building as you are entering or exiting. Be aware of suspicious people loitering around the entrance as they may reach for the open door.
- Stay alert when entering your apartment complex. Do not become distracted (i.e. talking on your cell phone). Criminals look for a weak target and are more likely to pass up someone who appears focused, aware, and strong.
- Never buzz anyone you do not know into the building for any reason. If someone has a legitimate excuse of being inside the complex area, arrangements would have been previously made with the tenant and/or property owner.
- Get to know other people who live on your floor so you may be able to identify strangers. Good neighbours look after each other.
- Report any poor lit areas such as entranceways, hallways, etc. or any overgrown shrubbery around your complex to the property owner.
- Do not list your full name on the tenant directory board.
- Look to see who is in the elevator before entering. If someone looks suspicious, do not enter and wait for the next one to come.
- When inside the elevator, stand near the control panel so you can easily press the alarm/emergency button if necessary.
- If a suspicious person enters the elevator when you are already on, exit before the doors close.
- Make sure that all the locks have been changed since the last tenants have moved out, as previous tenants may still have copies of keys.
- If you lose your keys, immediately replace your locks.
- Suite doors should have peepholes. If you do not have one, request that the property owner installs one for you.
- Always lock your door even if you will only be out of your suite for a short period. It only takes seconds for a criminal to enter your suite through an unlocked door.
- Collect your newspapers and other packages on a daily basis and never let your mailbox overflow.
- Keep a broom handle or longer piece of wood in the track of sliding glass doors to prevent exterior doors from being open from the outside.
- Make a list of your valuables and keep accurate logs, including any identifying factors like serial numbers or engravings.
Protecting Your Property
Record Serial Numbers
There are several things that can be done to deter would-be thieves. One of the most important, and often overlooked, is to copy down the make, model and serial numbers of your property. If there is no serial number then the property should be marked in some way to identify the owner.
Serial numbers given to police after a crime are entered into an Edmonton-based computer system and a Canada-wide police computer system, which can cause real problems for thieves.
If a person is found with suspected stolen property, the serial number can confirm that it is stolen. This then allows police to solve current and past crimes and gather information about who is doing what.
Sometimes pawn shops are used to get rid of stolen property. However, the EPS checks serial numbers in all pawn shops in Edmonton before the property can be sold. If a person pawns stolen property at a pawn shop then he/she will be charged.
How you can record your serial numbers?
One very handy online and mobile tool for home owners is called Know Your Stuff. When you create an account with Know Your Stuff, you can list the property you have within each room of your house! This allows you to keep the information on hand and you can easily update whenever you need. They even have an app. This can be extremely helpful if you need to file a report with police or your insurance provider.
The most valuable reason for recording serial numbers is that it allows police to return property to the rightful owner.
Victim of Theft?
- Report your stolen propertyto police, otherwise it makes it more difficult for us to find you if we find your property first.
- You can look on social media/ buy and sell sites for your property.
- If you find it, don’t make contact, call police (780-423-4567) or call your investigator.
- Again, don’t make contact with the seller.
If you post your property as stolen on social media and you receive information, contact police with the information. Do not investigate on your own.
Finding your stolen property
The Edmonton Police Service has a Pinterest page called, Missing Something? We feature some of our unique recovered stolen or lost property on our boards. Take a look to see if your stolen item is on our page. If it is, email EPSPinterest@edmontonpolice.ca
Purchasing Stolen Property
Serial numbers are also a good general deterrent for people purchasing items. Most people do not want to purchase stolen property because it’s wrong, but they also do not want to risk being charged with possession of stolen property. If you suspect an item you may be purchasing is stolen, you can check the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) first.
Be a considerate neighbour when enjoying a backyard fire and limit smoke and noise. The Community Standards Bylaw #14600 regulates the construction and use of firepits. Make sure your fire pit is safe and meets bylaw requirements.
Ensure firepit is safe and legal
- Locate firepits at least 3 metres from buildings, property lines and anything else that could catch fire.
- Assemble your firepit from bricks, concrete or heavy gauge metal no higher than 60 cm and no wider than one metre.
- Fully enclose the sides of your firepit.
- Use a spark arrestor with openings no larger than 1.25 cm to cover your fire pit.
- Dry untreated wood.
- Natural Gas.
- Dry wood.
Do not burn any material that creates excessive smoke must not be placed in a firepit including:
- Yard waste.
- Grass clippings, leaves or branches.
- Paper or Cardboard.
- Never leave a firepit unattended.
- Never leave children alone with a lit fire.
- Always make sure a fire is completely out when you are done.
- Keep a water source or fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish the fire when necessary.
- For more information on firepit construction or location please contact your local Fire Rescue Services.