Alberta RCMP is advising Albertans to ensure they take steps to protect against break-ins before leaving for any upcoming vacations.
"It's the time of year for planning vacations to escape the winter," stated an RCMP press release. "While you're away, making sure your property is secure is just as important as remembering to bring your luggage."
According to the release, more than 430 break and enters were reported at homes in the Alberta RCMP jurisdiction in January 2019, with a total of 4,850 break-ins occuring between January and November of last year.
One way to deter criminals, the release stated, is by making your property less appealing with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Other tips outlined by RCMP include installing timers on lights, disconnecting power to garage doors, investing in a home security system, locking all windows and doors, having someone shovel your driveway and making sure boxes from expensive gifts are not obvious in your recycling.
"It's also important not to post pictures on social media," the release said. "If you post your upcoming plans, or selfies during vacation, people will know that your house is empty."
Before taking flight, RCMP recommend asking someone to check your mail or using a hold mail service while you're away.
Additional tips will be posted to the RCMPs social media accounts – @RCMPinAlberta on Facebook, @RCMPAlberta on Twitter and RCMP-GRC Alberta on Youtube – under #TravelTips.
Albertans are encouraged to report any suspicious activity they may witness to police. If a crime is in progress, call 911. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.