You’ve likely heard about the rise in home break-ins in Edmonton, and maybe have been the victim of one. Over the past few years, the amount of break-ins has gone up by nearly 40 percent, with the amount of people breaking into garages going up by almost 75 percent. The Edmonton Police Service says that there are a couple of factors to blame.

Not only has Edmonton seen a massive rise in the city’s population during this time, but there has also been more reports of meth use. “Number one is going to be the population increase,” said detective Dan van den Berg of the EPS. “Edmonton has seen approximately 100,000 people added to its population between 2014 and 2019…For the rest, it’s going to be a lot of complex factors.”

“I think anecdotally, I would suggest that addictions may be on the rise, maybe meth use,” van den Berg added. “When we’re dealing with prolific offenders who constantly reoffend in these kinds of crimes, meth use is a common factor.” He also mentioned that those that have been victims of property theft aren’t likely to get their valuables back from the criminals.

To stave off criminals, the EPS is asking people to keep their doors locked in their homes, cars and garages. Many burglars will look for open garage doors to steal items. It only takes a moment, too, says van den Berg. “Maybe they just had to quickly go out to use the bathroom or answer the phone or something, and in that time somebody crossed the threshold of their garage, scooped that bicycle and off they went.”