Shawnigan Lake RCMP reporting increase in thefts from vehicles. (File photo)

Shawnigan Lake RCMP spike in thefts from vehicles

Detachments asking for public’s help

The Shawnigan Lake RCMP are reporting they have seen an increase in thefts from unlocked vehicles recently, and much like their counterparts in North Cowichan and Duncan earlier this week, are warning the public to be vigilant.

Several areas of the South Cowichan area have been targeted, including Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay, and the Malahat.

The offenders have been targeting unlocked vehicles parked both on roadways and private property, and occasionally outbuildings such as sheds on private property.

Often small portable items are taken, including change, cell phones, wallets and purses, or other valuables left inside the vehicle or structure.

These thefts are generally occurring overnight and are being reported the next morning to police.

RCMP Const. Ian Wetzel-Eden said a common concern or reason for leaving vehicles unlocked is that people don’t want to pay the deductible for a smashed window.

He said these are crimes of opportunity so it is uncommon for someone to have their window smashed.

“Generally, that only occurs when items of high value are left in plain sight inside a locked vehicle,” Wetzel-Eden said.

“If you don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle, you are at a much lower risk of being victimized in that way. By contrast, if your vehicle is left unlocked, you make it much easier for the criminal and by extension encourage recidivism in your area.”

Wetzel-Eden said by making a criminal’s “job” easier, you encourage criminal behavior in your community.

“Accordingly, Shawnigan Lake RCMP are asking members of the community to take some actions to aid police in resolving this matter,” he said.

“Firstly, ensure that vehicles and outbuildings are locked and secured to prevent thefts. Secondly, report any suspicious vehicles you may observe in your area; try to make note of make, model, age of vehicle, licence plates, unique features, and any decals or identifying marks.”

Wetzel-Eden said if your neighbourhood doesn’t already have a Block Watch, engage with your neighbours and contact the South Cowichan Community Policing office at 250-929-7222 to find more information about establishing a Block Watch.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Finding footprints curtailed Kilmer search Sunday night, but crews out again Monday

The footprints were ‘ruled out’ after trackers sent in, and everyone was back to looking for Kilmer

Sunrise Waldorf School teacher honoured for STEM

Lisa Hitch wins award for Excellence in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Huge Flower and Garden Show still going strong after 70 years

This year the Community Flower and Garden Show will be held on Saturday, May 26

Friends and family playing huge role in Kilmer search

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Join the MS Walk at the Cowichan Sportsplex on May 27

Information and support are also available at this event

VIDEO: Finding footprints curtailed Kilmer search Sunday night, but crews out again Monday

The footprints were ‘ruled out’ after trackers sent in, and everyone was back to looking for Kilmer

Coming up in Cowichan: Spring fair; Christian Science lecture; market

Get ready for some family fun with the Drinkwater Elementary School PAC annual spring fair

Cowichan Coffee Time: New principal, and fundraising galore

• School District 79 introduced Nicole Miller, who has been appointed principal… Continue reading

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

UPDATE: Woman dies after ocean accident near Tofino

Good Samaritan says lifeguards are needed at Long Beach and along the Pacific Rim Park Reserve

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Most Read