North Bay police have seen a large spike in break and enters so far this year compared to 2018.

Up to September of this year, the department has responded to 320 calls involving break and enters.

That’s up 37 percent over last year when the city registered 202 break and enters to the end of September.

Deputy Chief Mike Diaz says police personnel have seen some people who are responsible for multiple break and enters.

He says just last month police arrested one person who was connected to a number of break and enters committed in the city.

Diaz adds the bonus when the police catch someone involved in a string of break and enters is it clears up a lot of the unsolved cases.

Diaz says residents can take preventative measures to help reduce break and enters.

Because some of the break-ins involve vehicles, the easiest measure anyone can take is to keep their cars and trucks locked.

The Deputy Chief adds the same logic applies to people’s homes.

Diaz says these measures cost nothing and if some homeowners can afford security systems, then that’s something they should consider installing.

Diaz says another way to cut down on crime is to pay attention in terms of what’s going on around in your neighbourhood.

He says people should look for who is suddenly a stranger in your area.

“We shouldn’t be afraid to call out to someone on a neighbour’s property and challenge and ask them what they’re there for,” Diaz said.

“When we do that as a community and look after for each other we’ll see (crime) rates drop.”

Asked if some of the break and enters are being carried out by people fueling their drug habits, Diaz said it’s not fair to isolate one specific group.

He says criminals break into people’s homes or businesses for many reasons which include exchanging stolen items for other stolen items.

Break-ins weren’t alone in seeing a rise in criminal activity in North Bay.

According to current figures from the department, the number of stolen vehicles is up to 65 compared to 43 last year for a 34 percent rise, theft under $5,000 are up slightly while 69 sexual-related offences have taken place compared to 62 during 2018.

But on the plus side several areas of crime have seen a drop.

For example, assaults are down 12 percent for the year, the number of mischiefs has dropped dramatically going from 330 in 2018 to 240 so far this year while robberies and thefts over $5,000 are close to being even.

Fewer bicycles were also stolen this year over last year and police recovered more bikes this year over 2018.