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Thief breaking in to Saanich homes while residents sleep

He sees you when you're sleeping, and knows when you're awake. But somebody prowling Saanich neighbourhoods overnight isn't dropping gifts under a tree – they're entering homes while residents are asleep and stealing from them.

Saanich police say at least eight homes have been entered at night between Aug. 8 and Aug. 27, and items taken from them.

Sgt. Steve Eassie says all eight cases have been as a result of doors being left open or unlocked at night.

"They've been sliding glass doors left open due to the heat wave we've been doing through, side doors left unlocked for other people inside the residence, and a couple of the residents were actually left unlocked," he said. A couple incidents also involved garage doors being left open or unlocked.

"It's not believed these people are going into homes and wandering through bedrooms while people are sleeping," Eassie said, adding most items were left sitting near the entered door.

Most of the break and enters have been centred near McKenzie Avenue and Quadra Street. There have been reported incidents near Cedar Hill Road, Mount Douglas Cross Road and Interurban Road, as well.

Because there has been no forced entry in any of these incidents, Eassie said investigators believe the person or people responsible is going house-to-house at night and trying to open unlocked doors.

"We cannot stress enough that even if you are home, your door should be locked – when you are are sleeping and when you're not active within the home," he said. "We're not suggesting people need to leave their light on if they're home and asleep, simply lock the doors."

There's a possibility, Eassie said, that these break and enters are related to  thefts from vehicles that have also occurred in the targeted areas, and are all likely being committed by the same individual.

Typical items stolen include wallets, purses, jewelry and portable electronic devices.

Most incidents have happened between midnight. and 6 a.m. Police are asking residents to be on the lookout for any suspicious people wandering neighbourhoods or going house to house at night. If residents see any unusual activity, they are asked to call 911.

Anyone with information on any of these break and enters is asked to call 250-475-4321.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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