'Two break-ins in a row': Winnipeg seeing a spike in property crime
Published Friday, December 7, 2018 8:03PM CST
Diane Hordyk has lived in the River East area for 45 years. Hordyk said her neighbourhood is fairly quiet, but it’s not immune to crime.
“A few houses down the street here. Two break-ins in a row.”
Hordyk herself has been a victim of break-ins. She said her home was hit twice in the past.
“Breaking in the patio door, and just rummaging through anything they could find fast,” said Hordyk. “I think it was for drug money, mostly.”
After the second break-in, Hordyk said she added an alarm system – a business which now appears to be booming.
“The growth of the industry has definitely been recognizable,” said Tom Oakley of Oakley Alarms.
He said more people have been coming in asking for security systems, particularly with video surveillance.
“I think we’re seeing recently, probably in the last six to eight months a bigger spike not just in people coming home to their houses being broken into, but a little more personal attacks,” said Oakley. “Someone in the neighbourhood skulking around, seems to be, maybe, on some form of a drug.”
According to new numbers from the Winnipeg Police Service, property crime is up 21 per cent this year compared to last.
“We think it’s attributed in part to the methamphetamine crisis,” said Danny Smyth, chief of police. “A lot of property crime. Things are being stolen, and being pawned, frankly by people caught up in the addictions.”
Smyth said recent liquor store thefts are also having an impact on property crime numbers.
Between September 2017 and September 2018 there were 31,796 reports of property crimes around the city.
While Hordyk feels safer with her alarm, she said there are a few other safety measures she’ll take heading into the holidays.
“Maybe leaving lights on when you are out so it doesn’t look like you’re away,” said Hordyk. “Getting neighbours to, you know, shovel and take the mail in.”
While property crime may be up, Winnipeg police said violent crime is down three per cent. Over the course of a year, officers received 7,649 reports of violent crimes.