Secure your yards, say RCMP

700 property-related crimes reported in Red Deer last month alone

Garages, sheds and yards continue to be popular targets for property thieves in Red Deer and RCMP is recommending residents ensure these areas are secure to avoid becoming a victim of theft. July is Theft from Yard awareness month and Mounties are offering some tips to help homeowners keep their property and belongings safe.

“Unlocked gates and open garage doors are easy targets for thieves, especially when valuable items like tools or sports equipment are visible and easily accessible,” said Inspector Mark Groves. “It doesn’t take much to secure your property and lock these items away, and it could be what prevents a significant loss of property.”

There were over 700 property-related crimes reported in Red Deer last month alone and the summer months are traditionally some of the busiest for thieves. RCMP recommends homeowners take the following steps to secure their properties:

  • Keep garage and shed doors closed and locked when not in use
  • Ensure bicycles and sports equipment are put away and not left in the yard
  • Use padlocks or combination locks to secure fence gates and shed doors
  • Record serial numbers of bikes, lawnmowers, tools and other valuable equipment
  • Lock all unattended doors to your home, even when you’re home

“It might seem like overkill to close your garage door when you are outside working or relaxing in the yard,” said Insp. Groves. “But those are the types of opportunities thieves look for and take advantage of. When you are gardening or working in the yard, a thief can quickly take off with an armful of valuables or keepsakes in a matter of seconds.”

In addition, RCMP recommends homeowners make use of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principals when building and maintaining their property, including:

  • Clearing obstructions and ensuring sight lines of windows and doors, particularly basement
  • Keeping windows closed and locked when you’re away from home
  • Installing anti-theft devices on window tracks and sliding patio doors
  • Pruning shrubs and trimming trees to avoid giving thieves a place to hide
  • Utilizing exterior lighting and motion lighting to deter thieves
  • Maintaining landscaping and lawn mowing to communicate active presence

More information on CPTED principals and tips for securing your home and property are available on The City’s website and through the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre.