VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Businesses that have been shuttered due to COVID-19 orders are being targeted by thieves, according to Vancouver police.
Overall, the Vancouver Police Department is responding to fewer calls and fewer property crimes are being reported.
But since March 1 police have been called to more than 160 commercial break-ins.
“Property crime is an issue in Vancouver year-round and we continuously implement new measures to help reduce property crime and target repeat offenders,” said Chief Adam Palmer in a release.
“However, it appears thieves are attempting to take advantage of commercial spaces that are closed due to social distancing measures. We are targeting these offenders aggressively on several levels.”
#VPDNews: Vancouver Police are taking significant measures to combat property crime while local and provincial measures are in place to address the spread of COVID-19.
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) March 26, 2020
Meanwhile, the VPD is suggesting some measures businesses can take to secure themselves like moving merchandise away from windows or off site, upgrading locks, and installing more lighting.
Police say the downtown area has been hardest hit.