The Victoria Police Department is warning Victoria residents about a recent increase in car break-ins.
The VicPD said dozens of break-ins happen each week in Victoria and Esquimalt, with a noted increase earlier in the year. From July 5 to July 8 alone, VicPD received 23 theft from vehicle reports.
From May to June of 2019, there were 356 reports– a 45 per cent increase in the amount of break thefts from vehicles in the same period in 2018.
With such large volumes only some of these cases can be pursued.
“If the break-in is in progress, officers attend right away. Otherwise, everything is followed up on as patrol/K9 officers as resources allow,” said VicPD spokesperson Bowen Osoko. “However, our AIS [Analysis and Intelligence Section] team reads every file and targets areas where we’re seeing increases.”
At the end of June, VicPD officers were notified of two in-progress break-ins.
On June 16 they received a call about a break-in in the Hillside Avenue area. When K9 officers arrived a man was spotted still partially inside the vehicle. When officers searched him, several stolen items were found in the man’s possession. He was transported to cells before being released on the promise to appear in court at a later date.
On June 22, VicPD K9 and patrol officers responded to calls of a man trying to open car doors in the 500-block of Niagara Street.
When the arrived, the man was found inside a vehicle, intoxicated. He was taken into custody.
VicPD is warning people to be aware of nightly break-ins and advises them to be part of a “9 p.m. Ritual” ensuring that all valuables are removed from a vehicle after 9 p.m.
Other tips include parking in a well-lit and busier area, making sure windows and sunroofs are closed and using anti-theft devices in your car.
VicPD also warned that some of the most popular areas for thefts are between the Burnside-Gorge area and Downtown.
If you see a break-in in process or someone trying car doors, call 911.