RED DEER -- July is Theft from Yard Awareness Month and the RCMP is offering tips to keep Red Deer residents property and belongings safe.

“Unlocked gates and open garage doors are easy targets for thieves, especially when valuable items like tools or sports equipment are visible and easily accessible,” said Red Deer RCMP Inspector Mark Groves.

“It doesn’t take much to secure your property and lock these items away, and it could be what prevents a significant loss of property.”

In the month of June, there were over 700 complaints of theft or other related property crimes in the city.

“In the summer we do see a significant increase in property crime,” said Groves.

Groves said there are multiple steps residents can take to secure their property such as locking their garage doors even if residents are home, making sure their property is not left in the yard, and using padlocks for garage or shed doors overnight.

“It might seem [like] overkill to close your garage door when you are outside working or relaxing in the yard,” said Groves.

“But those are the types of opportunities thieves look for and take advantage of. When you are gardening or working in the yard, a thief can quickly take off with an armful of valuables or keepsakes in a matter of seconds.”

Groves added that residents should also write down or take pictures of serial numbers on valuables.

“Taking the time to record a serial number, take a photograph, and keep those numbers and photos in a safe place in the event anything ever did happen,” said Groves.

“I can’t even tell you how many times we have seized known stolen property from an offender and we had no idea who the victim was.”

Groves also recommends that residents use CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) strategies when maintaining their property. The strategies include clearing obstructions and ensuring sight lines of windows and doors, keeping windows locked when away from home, and utilizing exterior lighting and motion lighting to deter thieves.

“All those preventive measures help you stay safe.”

For more information on CPTED principles and tips for securing your home and property, visit