Victoria, BC - Crime prevention efforts are being redoubled after crime analysts with VicPD’s Analysis and Intelligence Section confirmed that thefts from vehicles are up significantly over last year.
Overall, thefts from vehicles in VicPD’s jurisdiction are up 30% from 2018.
Of particular concern to officers is that thefts from vehicles have risen significantly in certain neighbourhoods. For example, Rockland has seen a 236% rise in reports of thefts from vehicles.
Thefts from vehicle are up in all but three communities. Harris Green, Downtown and the Township of Esquimalt all saw drops in theft from vehicles.
Rockland, North Jubilee and Fairfield saw the largest percentage with increases of 236%, 118% and 115% respectively.
Thefts from vehicles remain a VicPD Operations Council priority. Where possible, Patrol officers continue to patrol areas showing significant theft from vehicle numbers. VicPD Crime Watch volunteers are out in the most impacted communities conducting Lock Out Auto Crime patrols, reminding area residents to not leave valuables behind in vehicles. VicPD Block Watch Captains are also being asked to remind their participants to remove valuables from their vehicles.
“Our belief is that many of these thefts from vehicles are being committed by a small group of prolific offenders,” Chief Constable Del Manak said. “We are keeping the public updated on crime trends in their neighbourhoods so that they can work with us to reduce the likelihood of victimization. That’s why we are asking people to remove valuables from their vehicles to reduce the likelihood of these crimes occurring in the first place.”
Preventing thefts from vehicles has been an VicPD Operations Council Priority for the last five months. Previous and continuing crime prevention efforts have included Lock Out Auto Crime patrols by VicPD Crime Watch volunteers, proactive patrols by Patrol officers where call volumes allow and significant community engagement with our VicPD Block Watch captains and volunteers, partnerships with local media and the production of a brief video demonstration of how quickly valuables can be stolen from your vehicle.
Thefts from vehicles are often crimes of opportunity that tend to happen during later hours. Being part of the “9 p.m. ritual” of ensuring all valuables are removed from your vehicle after 9 p.m. at night can help prevent these thefts. 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.