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Press release from Provincial Constable Clancey McGuire - rural thefts are on the rise in Dufferin County.

Posted On: Monday, August 8, 2016

Overview of the incidents and tips on how you can help the police.

DATE: May 12, 2016


(DUFFERIN COUNTY, ON) – In the first three months of 2016 Dufferin OPP had a significant increase in reported Break and Enters over the same period as last year. During the first three months of 2016 the Dufferin OPP investigated 21 Break and Enters in Dufferin County versus 5 reported in 2015 during same time period. With 4 more Break & Enters reported in the week of April 25th to May 1st, the trend shows no sign of slowing.

Investigation into the incidents has not identified the persons responsible.

From reviewing each individual incident the following trends have been noticed:

• the majority of entries have been made into attached and detached garages or sheds
• thefts from garages occurring during daytime when house unoccupied and overnight as people sleep
• rural properties have been targeted where distances between neighbors is greater 
• thieves have targeted homes that do not have alarm or surveillance systems 
• thefts from garages include ATVs, dirt bikes, battery and power tools, generators, saws and compressors
• break and enters in which thieves have entered the living space generally occur during daytime when residents are away
• When thieves enter the home they have targeted money or jewellery from bedrooms or electronics.


Why is there such a marked increase in Break & Enters this year?

Past experience has shown police that there is a very small percentage of the population engaged in B & E and thefts. Periodically an individual or several individuals become active in our County. When this happens a dramatic increase in Break & Enters or thefts occurs until those responsible are identified and stopped. Police often seize or recover property when one of these individuals are identified and arrested. In the past the seized or recovered property has connected the identified person to numerous separate B & E and thefts. Sometimes these crimes are across a number of Municipalities and several police agencies are able to solve property crimes in their area from one arrest.


Police often catch criminals possessing stolen property but it is rare to witness a theft as it occurs, but police can identify the perpetrators several other ways.

Police can identify the thieves by what they leave behind – fingerprints or DNA. It is crucial that victims of crime do not touch the scene but rather step back, preserve the scene, and call police immediately.

Other times thieves are identified through images captured by surveillance or hidden cameras.

Information gained from crime stoppers tips or community members that report suspicious behavior can also be very beneficial to police.


Short of adding an alarm system or surveillance system to their home which are effective deterrents, residents can do a few things to assist police:

  • Take photos of their valuable tools, vehicles, boats and electronics specifically showing the serial numbers.
  • Accurate Model and Serial numbers allow police to add the item to the Canadian Police Information Centre computer as stolen. When an item listed as stolen on CPIC is located by police the item can be returned to rightful owner. 
  • Secondly, I recommend that people photograph their jewellery.
  • Thirdly, report suspicious people or vehicles observed in your area to police. If possible obtain a license plate number or any business names that are given. Police can investigate and quickly determine the legitimate people from the crooks.

With the public’s help it is just a matter of time before the persons responsible for recent rise in thefts are brought to justice.

Author: Provincial Constable Clancey McGuire

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