The busiest commercial street in Vancouver now looks like a ghost town. After Vancouver stores closed, they've suffered four times the normal amount of break-ins. Now, shops are barricading all the doors and windows to prevent burglaries, and walking down Robson street makes you feel like you're in end times.

After social distancing policies forced everyone to finally go inside, the streets of downtown Vancouver are empty and quiet at last. Unfortunately, there have been people looking to make a quick buck off the situation.

"It appears thieves are attempting to take advantage of commercial spaces that are closed due to social distancing measures," said Chief Adam Palmer of the Vancouver Police Department, in a news release.

"We are targeting these offenders aggressively on several levels."

In the meantime, police are recommending that shops up their security by taking items away from display windows, shuttering windows, upgrading locks, and installing outdoor lighting.

Some Vancouver shops took the advice to heart.

On Robson Street, most shop fronts and doors are hidden behind black tarps or cages. People report guards patrolling some shops. Others have their windows barricaded with planks.

Iconic brands like Lululemon and Artizia, among others, have completely blocked up their entrances with wood planks.

Meanwhile, VPD are trying their hardest to crack down on the new wave of crime. They're increasing patrols in the area and partnering with business improvement associations to get more info.

Police reported 86 break-ins from Sunday, March 1 to Sunday, March 15. The very next week, from Monday, March 16 to Tuesday, March 24, they reported 81.

This crisis seems to have a way of bringing out the worst in us, from toilet paper hoarders to scammers on the web and streets.

But it's important to remember it's brought out some of the best in us too. Between people singing from their balconies to nightly cheering for health care workers in the streets, it shows there's still a ton of love out there.

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