Victoria, BC –Dozens of thefts from vehicles are being reported in Victoria and Esquimalt each week. These reports continue despite VicPD K9 officers taking a specific focus in thefts from vehicles, resulting in the arrests of two different suspects allegedly caught in the act of breaking into vehicles.
Crime analysts with the Analysis and Intelligence Section (AIS) of VicPD’s Investigative Services Division have been closely tracking thefts of items from vehicles and noted an increase earlier this year. Between July 5th and 8th we received 23 theft from vehicle reports. AIS team members have worked to identify hotspots and suspects as part of efforts to reduce these thefts, and focussing on preventing thefts from vehicles. Stemming the rise in theft from vehicles has become a priority for VicPD Patrol and K9 officers, as well as our Reserves and VicPD Crime Watch volunteers.
Just before midnight on June 16th, officers were notified of an in-progress theft from a vehicle in the Hillside Avenue area. When K9 officers arrived, they spotted a man still partially inside the vehicle. Officers allegedly recovered several stolen items from the man’s possession when they searched him. The man was transported to cells where he was held until released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
In the early morning hours of June 22nd, VicPD K9 and Patrol officers responded to calls about a man trying car doors in the 500-block of Niagara Street. When they arrived, they located a man in a vehicle. The man, who was intoxicated at the time of the incident, was taken into custody without incident.
Thefts from vehicles are often crimes of opportunity that tend to happen during later hours. VicPD K9 officers are encouraging you to be part of the “9 p.m. ritual” of ensuring all valuables are removed from your vehicle after 9 p.m. at night. A large portion of thefts from vehicles occur after dark.
For more information on what you can do to help prevent yourself and others from falling victim to thefts from vehicles, please visit https://vicpd.ca/preventautocrime.
If you see someone looking into or trying door handles of vehicles, please call 911.