Following a series of break and enters at properties in Metchosin, Mayor John Ranns said property crime remains a high priority for the District.
“Property crime, given our remote nature, is a high priority for us. We don’t have gang activity out here much and drugs, those things haven’t caused the residential concerns as much as property crime has,” said Ranns, who’s heard anecdotal information from residents and a business that were broken into recently – the incidents of which were reported to the West Shore RCMP.
“That seems to be one that our residents are most concerned about.”
Ranns noted break and enters throughout the municipality tend to happen in cycles, and are usually caused by one individual who is well-known to police.
“We have break in cycles, often times it’s because people get out of jail and they go right back to doing what they did. They’re well-known to police and the police ultimately track them down,” he said. “When they get caught and convicted then it goes down and when they get out of jail, it goes back up.”
According to the West Shore RCMP, officers responded to five reports of break and enters to residences, businesses and out buildings from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017.
Of those, investigators determined three were unfounded, meaning police could find no evidence of someone breaking into the building and the property owner or manager found nothing missing or anything suspicious.
One break and enter that is still under investigation involved a vehicle that was stolen, and has since been recovered. The other is believed to be linked to a suspect who is currently in custody on multiple charges and is awaiting trial.
Still, police are warning residents to keep an eye on their surroundings.
“We ask the public to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings for anything that appears suspicious or out of place, if they see something that doesn’t seem right to call West Shore RCMP,” said Const. Matthew Baker of the West Shore RCMP.
Baker said residents should make sure to lock their car doors and don’t leave anything valuable in the car overnight.
Residents who are going on vacation should not announce the dates they’re leaving on social media, as anyone could be looking at their profile.
He also suggested installing motion lights around a home and changing locks regularly.