VICTORIA -- Thieves are sneaking into apartment buildings and stealing items out of parking garages by using intercom systems outside, the Victoria Police Department says.

Spokesperson Const. Cam MacIntyre said in the last two months there have been about two dozen of these kinds of break-ins.

“Break-and-enter suspects are actually breaking the front panel of these intercoms of multi-residential buildings,” he said.

One resident living in the downtown core said he had his vehicle broken into and looked at the building’s security camera to find out what happened.

“We figured at first someone let him in,” said Tim Coulter.

Surveillance video showed the person entering codes into the intercom.

“What we didn’t realize what they’d done was short circuited it and took it back to it’s original default settings and set in their own codes, that way they punch in their own code like you’re going into your unit,” he said.

Police find this crime concerning and say it is increasing in the Burnside Gorge area.

“The fact that they’re that sophisticated was a little shocking,’ said Coulter.

To secure your building and prevent thefts, Victoria police believe awareness will help. They also recommend not allowing access to the parking garage once the thieves are inside, which can be done by securing doors leading down from the lobby.

Building management or owners are also asked to consider locking the intercom or putting bars over it so it can not be tampered with.