Residents of Metchosin don’t seem too concerned about a recent uptick in property crime in their area.
Police say Monday night saw numerous incidents of break and enter and theft in the area of La Bonne Road and Jelinek Place, where property owners found unlocked sheds and vehicles ransacked and a number of electronic devices stolen, but according to Const. Alex Berube, the incidents aren’t indicative of an upward trend overall. They are, however, dedicating a few more resources to the issue right now, including incorporating their Street Crime Unit into the investigation.
Longtime resident Frank Mitchell said it’s not likely anything to worry about, as these spikes in crime are experienced periodically. For a peaceful area like theirs, a couple of instances of crime seems like a lot, he said.
“There’s a bit of a random element to it,” Mitchell said. “I would guess that it’s just a couple of people (causing the problems), or maybe even just one. I certainly don’t get the feeling that it’s becoming more dangerous out here, or anything. It’s more like a statistical blip.”
He added there have been times in the past where they have seen increases, but looking at the trends, he doesn’t think Metchosin is any less safe than it has been.
“I think it’s just a matter of perception. When the media gets a hold of something like this, it’s very easy for it to get all blown out of proportion,” he said, adding that a few incidents aren’t likely to shift the dynamic or cause much unease in the community.
The most recent spate of incidents included a homeowner being awoken to find someone in the hallway of his suite. During the subsequent chase, the resident reported, the suspect fired “a pellet or Airsoft gun at him.”
The Saanich Police Department canine unit was brought in to track the suspect(s), but was unsuccessful.
The Island District RCMP’s forensic identification section is also assisting with the investigation.
Berube confirmed that in all of the reported incidents, the properties accessed were unlocked and no damage was sustained due to forced entry.
“This is again an unfortunate reminder that owners should keep their homes and vehicles locked,” he said. “If presented with an opportunity, criminals will not hesitate to open an unlocked door.”
Anyone with information in regards to the recent criminal activity or have any other concerns is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).