Saanich Police continued its proactive approach in preventing a jump in property crime among businesses in the Uptown-Douglas Corridor with a series of arrests on Wednesday and Thursday.
Saanich Police plain clothes officers arrested a total of nine people for shoplifting.
The police force suspected a jump in crime at stores in the Uptown-Douglas corridor based on higher reports of crime from residents in the area since the development of the Regina Park encampment, Camp Namegans.
Of the nine people, eight are known to be living at the Regina Park encampment, said Saanich Police Sgt. Jereme Leslie.
“Property crime was around 50 cases in that area last year, and it’s already over 100 this year, at the mid-July mark, that’s a significant increase,” Leslie said.
Using plain clothes officers to catch people in the act of stealing is a strategy that Saanich Police sometimes uses but rarely results in so many arrests, Leslie added.
Items stolen over this two day period include electronics, clothing, chocolate bars, sunglasses, and batteries, most of the items have been recovered. In addition to the theft arrests people were also arrested for breaching their conditions, mischief, resisting arrest and one person had a warrant.
“We want people to know that we’re here to keep them safe, prevent crime from happening and solve crime. If we don’t know about issues that are happening then it’s difficult to allocate our officers appropriately.”
Saanich Police will continue with these strategies in addition to their regular patrol and focused enforcement duties in and around the Regina Park encampment.