Having your house broken into is one of the most violating feelings. Student break-ins in London has created an increased anxiety for students who have had their valuable goods stolen while away from their homes. Break and enters in student rentals has become a growing issue in University/College cities with the rise of social media.
Western University student Vanessa Bullock had her house broken earlier this year. The intruder came in through a bedroom window and stole all her roommates’ laptops, jewellery, purses, medications and cash. The memories from that night still haunts Bullock to this day, “I cried. A lot of us just cried in the streets. A lot of people walked by that were very concerned.”
Bullock and her roommates called the police once they got home and realized what had happened. Not only is it difficult for students like Bullock who are consumed with school loans and debt to have to replace all their items that were stolen, but it is difficult knowing that someone has been inside your house without permission.
“I was pretty scared. It was more disturbing to know that someone had been into my room and searched through all my drawers and made it very clear that they did that. Nothing was in its right place, things were open that weren’t open before. It was just like an invasion of privacy,” Bullock recounts.
While students are the growing targets of break and enters, there are a few things they can do to keep themselves and their houses safe. Constable Sandasha Bough of London Police Services reminds the public to follow these points to prevent this from happening to you.
– Always lock your doors and windows, even when you are just stepping out for a moment
– Keep valuables out of sight
– Keep exterior lights on at night
– Don’t advertise on social media when you will be away, instead, wait until you return to post your pictures
While this can be a stressful time, Bullock reminds students that everything is just material items that can be replaced, but turn on your alarm, lock your doors and keep an eye out for people or cars that seem out of place around your house as you are going out.
If something like this happens to you, call 911 as soon as possible.
For more information about where break and enters occur in London, follow the London Police Crime Map.