Winnipeg police are going door-to-door in the River Heights neighbourhood, warning residents to protect their homes from theft.

Police say in the past few years, there has been a spike in property crime in the neighbourhood. With warmer weather finally here, people are prone to leave doors and windows open, making their homes vulnerable to theft.

River Heights resident Len Settler said he is being more diligent after his home was targeted by thieves twice.

The first time, they entered through the garage door, he said, but in the second break-in they used his front door.

"I kind of ran after them and told them if they ever came back, I would do some nasty things," Settler said Friday.

Another area resident, Francesca De Grave, said three neighbours in her bay have been robbed.

"Another girlfriend just one street over, her house was broken into and lots of jewelry was taken," De Grave said. "She was just in the back yard, raking her lawn."

How you can protect your home

Officers are going door to door, talking to homeowners and dropping off letters warning people to assess their home security.

"In the past few years we have seen a rise in property crime during the summer months in your area," the letter by police reads in part.

"Collectively, with your help and co-operation, Project Comet will proactively take steps to reduce crime and make the River Heights neighbourhoods safer for all."

The letter urges residents to do the following:

  • Close and lock all doors and windows when you're not at home.
  • Close and lock garage doors at all times.
  • Don't leave valuables like bicycles and lawnmowers in the yard.
  • Install light timers and/or alarm systems in the home.
  • Park in well-lit areas and always lock your vehicle.
  • Don't leave laptops or other valuables inside your vehicle.
  • Let your neighbours know if you're going to be away.

Officers are also asking people to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

"I know members of the West District Station are doing everything they can to have a presence in an area that, you know, they oftentimes see a rise in some property crimes," Const. Jason Michalyshen, a police spokesperson, told reporters.

Homeowners like De Grave applaud the efforts police are making in their neighbourhood.

"This Project Comet, I think, it's a good thing because it's awareness," she said.

"Although it appears to be a quiet little neighbourhood, there's always a little bit of activity that goes on."