Woman charged after rash of thefts in N. Cowichan

A 22-year-old woman and her 31-year-old male "associate" have been arrested and charged after a rash of thefts of everything from wedding supplies to a dirt bike from vehicles in a North Cowichan neighbourhood.

Within one 24-hour period between July 6 and 7, seven vehicles were broken into, mostly in the Palahi Road area. Police suspected at least two thieves were involved, and witnesses reported seeing a man and woman skulking about the area northwest of the soccer fields at the corner of Sherman and Somenos roads, near where most of the thefts have occurred.

Amanda Hawkins has been formally charged with possession of stolen property in relation to those thefts and others that occurred between June 16 and July 6. Property has been recovered and the rightful owners have been notified.

The unnamed male was released by the court but still faces drug-related charges.

Police advise residents to take care of their valuables.

"Lock your doors, do not leave valuables in your vehicle, and never leave your wallet

or other sources of identification laying about for would be thieves to take," North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Krista Hobday said. "No less than $1,000 in personal property is now in the hands of thieves instead of with the rightful owners."

Other potential victims are encouraged to come forward as well.

"If you have had your vehicle broken into, please notify the police," Hobday added. "Where and when thefts from vehicles occur is an important source of information when determining who may be responsible for the thefts."