Ottawa

Residential break-ins surge across Ottawa

Ottawa police say there's been a "marked increase" in daytime residential break-ins across the city, and thieves are making off with anything and everything they can get their hands on.

Thieves strike homes in Kanata, Stittsville, Barrhaven, Orléans, Civic Hospital areas

Karen Wright, president of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association, says she's heard of at least 10 break-ins within a small area of the neighbourhood since the end of December. (Kimberley Molina/CBC)

Ottawa police say there's been a "marked increase" in daytime residential break-ins across the city, and thieves are making off with anything and everything they can get their hands on.

Thieves have targeted homes in Kanata, Stittsville, Barrhaven and Orléans several days this week, police said Friday.

"The thieves are going after small electronics, jewelry, available cash, things that they can find quickly and get rid of quickly," said Staff Sgt. Stephanie Burns, who heads the force's robbery and break-and-enter section.

While police can't say whether the same suspects are behind all the break-ins, the robberies share similar traits, including windows being pried open.

Burns said residents should be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles or people peering through windows. She also suggested not keeping large sums of cash at home, and being vigilant with valuables.

"Have them locked up, have them not accessible. [People] always keep [their] jewelry in the master bedroom. It's probably not the best place because every single break-and-enter, that's exactly where they go."

Civic Hospital neighbourhood also hit

The Civic Hospital neighbourhood has seen its own rash of break-ins in the past month and a half.

They happen between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., when most people are at work, said Karen Wright, president of the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association.

Wright said she's been told of at least 10 break-ins in a five- to six-block area.

Thieves broke in through basement windows, she said.

"Some people have cameras already and they've been able to catch a few pictures of people looking, poking around the backyard."

Wright said some residents have installed bars over their basement windows to prevent robberies.

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