File Photo (Jay Wallace Images)

VicPD has issued a warning to businesses in the Victoria and Esquimalt area after a spike in break-ins throughout the two communities in the first few weeks of 2021.

Between January 1st and January 18th, there have been 28 business break and enters.

According to VicPD, business break and enters have been on the rise over the past four months. In December, there were 26 break-ins, while November had 16 and in October there were 18.

Since December, 75 per cent of break and enters have been concentrated in downtown Victoria and the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood.

On January 5th, VicPD alerted the public they were investigating nearly two dozen break and enters that they describe as “sophisticated” break-ins.

According to VicPD, the largest cluster of reports is from Victoria’s downtown business community, where nearly two dozen break and enters are believed to be related.

The thieves have been using the sophisticated technique of removing the glass from doors or windows to gain stealthier access.

“This approach requires specialized tools and knowledge and, in some files, has been effective in defeating alarm systems,” said VicPD in a release.

In instances when the glass removal technique has failed, the thieves resort to more brute force methods; smashing windows and prying doors.

In October, Saanich Police arrested a 40-year-old man suspected of breaking into multiple businesses using the same techniques.

Police say a total of six break-and-enters were reported in Saanich between October 2nd and 26th, particularly at liquor stores.

In each case, the suspect carefully removed glass windows or wall panels to gain access into the store and stole wine, beer and other alcohol.

The suspect in that case is known to police.

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