By: Michael Piccoli
Police are warning residents to stay alert after a woman and two men were caught by a surveillance camera casing a house in Vaughan.
The video shows a woman in sunglasses wearing a headscarf ringing the doorbell of the front door of Debra Di Benedetto’s home multiple times at about 2 p.m. on May 22. After several attempts the woman realized Di Benedetto was in her Major Mackenzie Drive-Weston Road area home, and the trio immediately left the property.
But they apparently didn’t leave the area. Police confirmed there was a burglary in the same neighbourhood about three hours after the trio cased Di Benedetto’s home.
Toronto police media relations Const. Craig Birster suggested a few safety tips to prevent situations like this.
“We’re seeing more and more people with excellent home surveillance,” he said. “It’s more affordable now.”
Digital doorbells are a cheaper alternative for those who don’t want to spend money on expensive cameras. This technology allows home owners to receive alerts to their phone when their doorbell is rung.
“We have seen fake cameras,” he said. “It’s a deterrent and it’s something that people are aware of.”
Birster also said a large, visible camera can act as added security.
He stressed the importance of taking even simple measures to stay safe.
“You never have to answer the door if you’re not comfortable,” Birster said. “Talk to the person from inside your house.”
He recommends keeping the front of the home openly visible, with a clear line of sight to the road. Birster also recommended leaving lights on and having open communication with neighbours and the police.