Break and Enter Unit

A top community concern: break-ins!


alarm by-law


The Ottawa Police Break and Enter Team investigates all break-ins to home and commercial properties. People often mistakenly refer to a break-in as a “Robbery” or use the American terminology of a “Burglary” but they are not the same crime.

The definition of a Break and Enter is: the offence committed when any person unlawfully enters any place with the intent of committing a criminal offence therein.

Every case is reviewed by a detective for solvability or in an attempt to link it to other break-ins.  Break and Enters are seen as a serial offense; often when a suspect is caught for committing a break and enter, they have committed more than just one.

The Ottawa Police recognizes that a break and enter can be a very traumatic event. After filing a report (613-236-1222 ext 7300), do not hesitate to speak to a member of our Victim Crisis Unit or seek other resources to help you.

What is 'a place'?

  • A House
  • A Commercial Business
  • A Fenced in storage area which has locked gates or doors
  • A structure under construction which has doors and walls
  • A home Garage

What is not 'a place' (therefore does not constitute a break not enter*):

  • A Car
  • A place under construction which does not have walls or doors erected
  • A detached shed

*Offences occurring within these areas will still be investigated by the police, but not the Break and Enter Unit.

Frequently Asked Questions about Break-ins

























What happens after a break-in has occurred?

Do not disturb anything; call the non-emergency number (613-236-1222 ext 7300) to have an officer attend.

A patrol officer will attend and take a Break & Enter report.

The officer will assess the scene to determine if a Forensic Officer will attend for fingerprinting or to check if DNA samples can be taken that may have been left by the suspect.

Once the officers have completed their work at the scene, you may begin to clean up and put things way. You may also have to call a locksmith or window repair company to repair damage caused by the suspect. Many of these companies have 24hr emergency service.

Your report is submitted to the corresponding Break & Enter Team. A detective will then be in touch with you within a few days.

How can I crime-proof my home?

Break-in suspects do not normally want to be seen or detected. They will usually break into a home that appears to be unoccupied. If you are going away for any length of time, ensure you have a trusted person looking after your home.  Find out how you can safeguard your home with our Crime Prevention and Safety Tips page.

I have had a break-in and an investigator has not yet called me, what should I do?

Our Break & Enter investigators work shift work, therefore it may take a few days for them to have your report assigned to them. If you have not spoken to an investigator one week after your break-in, call the Break & Enter must-answer line which corresponds to the area of the of city in which the break-in took place.

Central – 613-236-1222 x 4533

East – 613-236-1222 x 3515

West & South - 613-236-1222 x 2655

I think that someone is trying to sell the property stolen from my break-in online, what should I do?

Do not attempt to contact the seller or set up your own “sting”. Contact your investigator immediately with the information from the site and allow them to conduct the follow up. It can be extremely dangerous if you attempt to contact this person yourself.

Will I get my property back if the police make an arrest?

The police will do all that they can to have property returned to its rightful owners. Unfortunately, often times the suspect wants to get rid of the property as quickly as they can. They will likely sell the property or simply discard of it, not considering sentimental value it may have for someone. However, if property is recovered, the police will search their data base to find the owner; that is why is important to give the police as much detail as possible as what was taken from your break-in.

Will I be told if someone is caught?

If an arrest is made and charges are laid, the investigator will contact you and they may have you complete a “Victim Impact Statement”. This is a form which will allow you to tell a judge, in your own words, how this crime has affected you when sentencing the accused.

When do most break-ins occur?

There is no set time that a break-in is more likely to occur. There are suspects who only commit break-ins at night, while others operate during the day.

What if I already made a report but thought of something else to add to it?

If you have further information regarding stolen property or information you wish to pass on to an investigator, you can call the cell centre (613-236-1222 ext 7300) with your case number and provide the information to be added to the report.