Vehicle break-ins are a “common occurrence,” says a VicPD spokesperson. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

WATCH: Police warn car break-ins are on the rise in Greater Victoria

Residents can ‘take precautions to make their vehicle undesirable,’ says VicPD spokesperson

Thefts from vehicles are on the rise in Greater Victoria and police are encouraging residents to take precautions.

Having your car broken into is unsettling, but it’s a “common experience,” said Bowen Osoko, a spokesperson for VicPD.

He receives daily reports of thefts from cars in Victoria and emphasized that he’s “never seen a day without at least five break-ins.”

Osoko pointed out that while thieves typically target vehicles when it’s dark out, there’s no specific day of the week where more car break-ins occur.

“They’re all thefts of opportunity,” he said.

While the goal is not to blame the victims, Osoko noted that there are things people do that draw thieves to their vehicle.

If a car is unlocked or valuables are left inside, someone can commit the crime in under a minute, he explained, referencing an advisory video VicPD filmed in July where an officer broke a car window and grabbed the valuables from inside in under 20 seconds.

READ ALSO: Victoria man arrested in stolen car with drugs and weapons, tied to break and enter

Thieves are also likely to hit multiple cars, he noted. They pick an area and sometimes work in groups.

Car owners should be locking up and removing valuables to protect themselves and their neighbours as thieves who are successful will likely target other nearby vehicles, Osoko noted. He emphasized the importance of the “9 p.m. ritual”: leave nothing in the car after dark and lock up.

First, they’ll try door handles because it’s easier and less of a risk, Osoko said. Next, they’ll start looking for valuables.

He pointed out that valuables aren’t necessarily things like a laptop or cash, the thief could be looking for a backpack, flashlight or screwdriver – anything that could be useful for the next break in or could be traded for money or drugs.

READ ALSO: Car stolen from View Royal driveway

Prolific thieves have told police that a locked car with no valuables is “not worth the effort” because they’re looking for a “quick win,” Osoko said.

He encourages residents to “think a little bit like a thief.” Don’t assume something isn’t valuable enough to warrant a break-in or that your car is safe in a private underground parking lot.

Osoko emphasized the importance of reporting thefts as well as people trying door handles because it helps police track trends, figure out which neighbourhoods are being targeted and catch prolific offenders.

While these thieves are often caught, they’re likely to re-offend, Osoko noted. Educating the public and providing tips to make their car undesirable is one way police are trying to break the cycle.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leap year babies from 1964: Where are they now?

Two kids featured in March 1st edition of Juan de Fuca News Review

Former Belmont principal turns 15 in leap years

Ray Miller among the 0.07% of the population to have Feb. 29 as a birthday

A fare fight: Passenger arrested after refusing to pay Victoria cab driver

Woman taken into police custody after arguing with cab driver

Teachers wear red Friday for National Day of Public Education

The day ends with a rally at Minister of Education’s office

Truck smoking profusely on the Malahat, no reports of traffic being affected

Shawnigan RCMP say they are on route to the incident

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Notorious B.C. fugitive to be extradited from California on murder charge

Brandon Nathan Teixeira submitted to extradition during court proceedings Thursday in Sacramento

Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam

The U.S. confirmed one case of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, in California Thursday

Decade-long health care battle draws to a close today in B.C.

Dr. Brian Day began his battle a decade ago against the B.C. government

Conservative MP questions whether rail blockades constitute terrorism

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett travelled to B.C. to meet Indigenous leaders

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Lawsuit over African mine can be heard in British Columbia: Supreme Court

B.C. courts dismissed Nevsun’s attempts to make Eritrea the forum for any lawsuit proceedings

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read