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Langford neighbourhood victimized by string of break-ins

Residents in the area of Humpback Road, Lakehurst Drive and Mt Wells Drive have had their vehicles targeted in a recent crime spree.  - Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff
Residents in the area of Humpback Road, Lakehurst Drive and Mt Wells Drive have had their vehicles targeted in a recent crime spree.
— image credit: Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff

One Langford resident is fed up with crime in her neighbourhood.

And if the Langford Meadows Facebook group is any indication, she’s not alone.

Some residents have even taken to patrolling the area in their vehicles  at odd hours of the night.

“We thought our neighbourhood was safe,” said Lakehurst Drive resident Pam Bowlby, adding the area includes a number of young families with children.

The area made headlines last week after a string of vehicle thefts on Humpback Road early Tuesday morning. Those came on the heels of a brazen overnight smash-and-grab robbery at a nearby gas station on West Shore Parkway.

According to the Facebook group, which has roughly 200 members, it wasn’t just vehicles on Humpback Road that were broken into, nor was it the first time area vehicles have been targeted. Bowlby had her work uniform stolen from her car back in January.

“It’s been a lot of stuff,” she said. “It’s been happening more often in the last couple of months.”

Last week, posts listed such stolen items as search and rescue equipment, parking passes, petty change, expensive eyewear and wallets.

“It’s really nerve wracking to find out all of this is going on,” Bowlby said. After recent snowfalls, she added, residents found footprints that had no business being there, leading around houses, garages and sheds and stopping in front of windows. She fears their houses are being cased and the vehicle thefts could escalate to houses being broken into. “It’s very frustrating when you have kids … you just don’t feel safe anymore.”

The neighbourhood has been on alert since February, when police issued a warning for West Shore residents to be on the lookout for a suspicious man in the Lakehurst Drive area after a teenage girl was allegedly followed and chased on several occasions.

“I have a 12-year-old daughter that walks around the neighbourhood all the time,” Bowlby said, noting she now fears for her daughter’s safety on the quiet street.

At her wit’s end, she wants something done so the neighbourhood she’s called home for the past seven years returns to the safe place it used to be.

Some residents on the Facebook page noted a need for more street lighting, while others suggested that more vigilance was needed from neighbours in helping prevent such crimes.

At the very least, Bowlby would like to have more communication from West Shore RCMP. However, that can be tricky, as officers often cannot release details about investigations into criminal activities.

Const. Alex Berube, detachment spokesperson, would only say investigations relating to these cases are ongoing. He noted that property crimes such as thefts from vehicles are often committed by prolific offenders who rarely target just one vehicle. Thefts from vehicles are usually crimes of opportunity and only take a few seconds to commit before the thieves move onto another target, he added.

“This is why it’s important for those who fall victim to these crimes to report them to police – we can determine a pattern or trend that helps us with our investigations. Also, many homeowners are equipped with video surveillance and those have proven to be successful in identifying suspects,” he said.

Anyone with information or clues that may help solve these crimes is asked to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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