The Townline Hill area of Abbotsford has experienced a hike in home break-ins over the last three months, with the thieves mainly targeting cash and expensive jewelry.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said 19 break-ins have occurred in the area from Nov. 5 to Feb. 1.
He said this number constitutes half the residential break-and-enters that took place in all of Abbotsford during that time.
MacDonald said the number is surprising, considering that Abbotsford recorded an overall eight per cent drop in home break-ins from 2013 to 2014.
He said the majority of the recent thefts have taken place between 5 and 9 p.m. and have involved the culprits forcing their way into the homes through a rear window or rear sliding glass door.
Investigators believe that a small number of people are responsible for these crimes and likely live in the area.
“It’s more likely people who are part of the neighbourhood and have some expectation and knowledge that the homes they’re breaking into have a large amount of cash and jewelry,” MacDonald said.
He said the culprits have been leaving behind other items typically stolen in home break-ins such as portable electronics.
Police first warned the public of the break-ins in November after seven thefts had taken place in the Blueridge Drive and Townline Road area.
The biggest theft involved $50,000 in cash and jewelry, but the losses in two others were valued at $30,000 and $15,000.
MacDonald said police do not believe the break-ins have any connection to the Townline Hill conflict, in which two groups of young men have been embroiled since last spring in a dispute that has involved vandalism, mischief, assaults and arson.
He said citizens are encouraged to report suspicious activity to police and to be diligent with their home security.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225, text abbypd (222973) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.