Sidney/North Saanich RCMP want vehicle owners to help stop a recent surge in auto theft and items stolen from vehicles.
For the third time this year, the Sidney/North Saanich area is being specifically targeted by car thieves according to local RCMP.
Officers say residents have been refusing to heed warnings and ensure their parked vehicles are locked and all items of value are removed. That is leading to daily reports of vehicles being rummaged through, items being taken, personal identification stolen, and banks cards left in those vehicles being used throughout the area, according to police.
There have been 35 recent reports of theft from autos and five vehicle thefts. Of those, police say 30 vehicles were unlocked, however five vehicles were broken into with no noticeable damage done. Three of the vehicles stolen had the keys or fobs left inside or in an adjoining unlocked vehicle.
“What residents may not understand is the ripple effect this has on other crimes. Thieves use the stolen vehicle to commit crimes in other areas. People who leave their wallets and bank cards can have their identities compromised, and there have been reports of their cards being used for fraudulent purchases throughout the Island area,” said Staff Sergeant Wayne Conley, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Detachment Commander.
“The thieves will continue to come to the area until residents practice crime prevention. As a Detachment Commander it’s disappointing to see this happen again and again when the solution is so simple – don’t leave valuables in your vehicle and lock your car doors.”
Police urge anyone with information on this or any crime to contact the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP Detachment, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).