Saanich Police are reminding residents to lock their cars following a rash of vehicle break-ins in the Broadmead area.
Sgt. Steve Eassie said police have noticed a “dramatic increase” in break-ins of unlocked vehicles, though the thieves have only made off with loose change, wallets, IDs and gift cards.
“Over the last two weeks, there has been at least 17 incidents that have been reported to us – those are numbers that we don’t often see,” said Eassie. “In virtually all of the circumstances that we’re speaking about, the vehicles were left unlocked.”
Eassie said the rise in break-ins could be attributed to the time of year, when people are buying gift cards as Christmas presents and perhaps leaving them in their vehicles. While he didn’t have an estimate of how much money or value in gift cards has been stolen, he said the thieves have oddly overlooked some more big-ticket items left in vehicles.
“Some of the gift cards have been between $50 and $100, but most of it has been loose change,” he said. “Even some of the more highly valued items such as iPads and cellphones have not been taken. It’s a bit removed from the norm where they’re looking for higher priced items.”
The break-ins occurred on the following streets: the 700 block of Sayward Road, 700 block of Menawood Place, 5300 block of Sayward Hill Crescent, 5300 block of Sunters Track, 4800 block of Cherry Tree Bend, 700 block of Haliburton Road, 4800 block of Wesley Road, 800 block of Alvarado Terrace, 700 block of Bossi Place, 900 block of Seamist Rise, 800 block of Seamist Place and 4700 block of Amblewood Drive.
As of yet, police don’t have a suspect, but they believe it may be related to someone who recently moved into the area. Eassie also noted the break-ins occurred on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, saying those days could be targeted based on shopping habits.
Eassie said the best thing residents can do to protect their belongings is to lock their vehicles or store gift cards and presents inside their homes.
“If your (cars) are locked and your neighbours’ are not, your neighbours are the ones that are going to be hit, not yours,” said Eassie.