Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Victoria, BC – Officers are warning the public after a rise in business break and enters through December of 2020 and into January of 2021.

Business break and enters have been on the rise over the past four months, and there have already been more business break and enters in January of 2021 then there were in all of December 2020. Between January 1st and January 18th of 2021 there have been 28 business break and enters in Victoria and Esquimalt. In December of 2020 there were 26 break and enters in this area. In November there were 16 break and enters, and in October there were 18.

Since December, 75 percent of business break and enters have been concentrated in downtown Victoria and the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood.

Officers continue to investigate a series of business break and enters where the suspect(s) uses a sophisticated technique of removing the glass from doors and/or windows. This approach requires specialized tools and knowledge and, in some files, has been effective in defeating alarm systems.

In circumstances when the glass removal technique has failed, the thieves may resort to more brute force methods such as smashing windows and prying doors.

These break and enters are predominantly occurring overnight when the businesses are unoccupied.

There are key steps that you can take today which will help protect your business.

They include:

  • Remove valuables from your business where possible when you close.
  • If you cannot remove valuables or merchandise, move it out of view from all windows.
  • Empty your cash drawer and leave it clearly displayed in a window.
  • Review your surveillance system to ensure your system is working, is of useful resolution, and captures all potential areas of entry.
  • Review your alarm company contact information to ensure you’ll be contacted in the event an alarm is triggered.
  • Report damaged windows and doors, even if entry isn’t made. You can report these online 24 hours a day through online reporting and through our VicPD Connect App.
  • Download our VicPD Connect App for alerts and easy reporting of break and enter attempts.
  • Talk with your business neighbours, ask if they’ve had damaged windows, doors or other break-in attempts and share this list with them.

If you have information about these overnight break and enters, please call our Report Desk at (250) 995-7654, extension 1. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.