An opportunistic thief or thieves are taking what isn’t theirs from Chase vehicles.
Sgt. Gary Heebner of Chase RCMP reports that thefts from vehicles are a problem, with 21 recorded from June 7 to July 7.
He said that during the same period, break and enters to homes and businesses reported to police were relatively low at a total of six – five homes and one business.
“Somebody is going out and about in the middle of the night picking from open, unlocked vehicles,” he said, noting that a lot of people have been leaving vehicle windows open at night. “It’s primarily a crime of opportunity.”
To combat the stealing spree, the Chase detachment is increasing its patrols. Normally not a 24-hour detachment, that’s going to change.
“We’re going to 24-hour patrols until we can get a handle on this,” said Heebner.
Normally an officer is on call at night but now someone will be out on shift overnight.
“We’re almost to the size where it would be good to go to 24 hours but we don’t have the resources to do it,” he said, so the 24-hour patrols will be a temporary measure.
Heebner said police have also reached out to the volunteer Citizens on Patrol group to see if they would be able to increase patrols.
“Just to be eyes and ears for us.”
Chairperson Rollie Mockford said he was pleased to see citizens come out to the group’s general meeting Tuesday. More volunteers are needed, he emphasized, before the group can realistically consider expanding its patrol hours.
If you would like to help out, call Mockford at 250-679-8467.
Heebner said things the thieves have been taking include wallets, binoculars, cash, “stuff people really shouldn’t be leaving in cars. It’s a matter of complacency. It’s a small town and people think it’s okay to leave stuff in vehicles. It’s a crime of opportunity.”
If someone witnesses a theft taking place, they’re asked to call 911 and not try to intervene.