Between February 1st and February 20th, the Saanich Police Department has received at least eighty six (86) reports of thefts from vehicles. This number is up dramatically over the same time period in 2012, which was noted as having only thirty six (36) reported thefts.
In more than half of the cases, the vehicles have been left unlocked or have been entered through open windows. In sixteen (16) cases, doors and door locks have been pried/forced to gain entry. In seven (7) cases, windows have been broken, allowing entry to the vehicle.
The most common items that have been reported taken include loose change and small electronic items including iPods, MP3 players, and GPS devices. Other items have included clothing and sunglasses.
The most common days of the week when these incidents are being committed appear to be Fridays and Saturdays. Most of the incidents have occurred in the late evening and early morning hours.
Areas that have recently been targeted include neighbourhoods in the Gordon Head area, as well as neighbourhoods near Quadra Street.
Saanich Police investigators have recognized these trends and are currently following up on some investigative leads. It is believed that a number of these incidents are very likely related and are being committed by the same person, or group of people.
“Our investigators remain committed to determining who is responsible for these thefts as well as the damage to vehicles. It is very concerning that we are seeing such a dramatic increase in the numbers of thefts that are occurring, and we are taking steps to identify the people responsible” says Sgt. Steve Eassie.
Saanich Police would like to once again remind vehicle owners to remove all valuables from their vehicles when the vehicles are not in use. The use of secured garages will minimise the opportunity for theives to target your vehicle.
Motion sensor lights and vehicle locks may also deter someone from entering your vehicle.
Area residents are also being asked to be aware of anyone in their neighbourhoods in the late evening and early morning hours. Given the recent crime pattern, it is believed that the people/person responsible for these latest incidents are likely on foot or travelling on bicycles.
Should residents see someone that appears to be out of place, or someone that appears to be acting suspiciously, they are asked to contact the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 to report the incident. Anyone with information relating to persons responsible for these crimes is asked to contact Saanich Police, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).
Sgt. Steve Eassie #158