By Maureen McEwan
Ottawa Police Services (OPS) has received several reports of residential break-and-enters in the Westboro area within the last week.
In a press release May 22, the Ottawa Police reported that the daytime incidents occurred while residents were at home but “either outside or in another area of the house.”
“The Ottawa Police has been made aware that with these incidents, a suspicious man was seen either in a neighbour’s yard or trying to enter a neighbour’s home. When the man was questioned by neighbours including children, he left the area immediately,” the release stated.
“These incidents may have been deemed by some members of the community as incidents of a stranger approaching children. However, no evidence has been found to that effect.”
There is no suspect in custody currently and the investigation is ongoing.
As warmer weather arrives, the police are urging residents to take precautions. Here are OPS’ tips to homeowners to prevent homes from being targeted:
- “Do not leave windows and doors open or unlocked while you are outside on your property or in a different area of your home.
- Door[s] and windows should be kept locked at all times.
- If you have an attached garage, always keep the access door between the house and the garage locked.
- If you have a garage door remote in your vehicle, ensure it is kept out of sight and keep your vehicle locked.
- Keep valuables and sentimental items you wouldn’t want lost in a safe and if possible secure the safe to the floor or wall stud.
- Don’t leave purses and wallets just inside your entry door.
- Install and use a security bar on your patio door.
- Keep grass cut and shrubs trimmed to give your home a lived-in look.
- Consider security lighting and cameras.”
If anyone has information relating to the break-and-enters, they are asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Break and Enter Unit at (613) 236-1222, ext. 4533.
Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling toll free at 1-800-222-8477 or online at crimestoppers.ca.