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Nanaimo RCMP is warning the public after a rash of holiday break-and-enters hit the region in early December.

According to police in the first two weeks of December, there were 32 reported break-ins, almost double the reports compared to last year.

Only twenty break-ins were reported in this same time period last year.

The most recent was a break in at Asteria Place on Monday where a 31 -year-old female stole a laptop from a residence. She was located shortly after by police and arrested, but police suspect it’s more than one person carrying out these rash of break and enters.

We believe these incidents are not being committed by just one person and that there are a number of individuals involved, said Constable Gary O’Brien with the Nanaimo RCMP in a release.

The shocking thing about these Christmas grinches is that they’re striking during daytime, through the back of people’s homes, through unlocked doors and windows.

Police say the thieves are focusing on electronics, cash, jewelry, wallets, passports and alcohol, and sometimes even wrapped Christmas gifts.

Home owners must continue to be vigilant while we continue to pursue those responsible for this rash of break ins,” said O’Brien.

The rise in thefts are prompting police to advice the public take extra precautions during this holiday season to keep their homes secure, and the thieves out.

That means locking all doors and windows, keeping valuables out of sight, and if possible installing an alarm system or starting a block watch.

All suspicious activity, involving people, vehicles or prowlers must be reported to the police. If individuals are targeting your neighbourhood, chances are they have hit others too. The sooner they are stopped the safer we will all be, said O’Brien.

Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Kori Sidaway