Thefts from autos on the rise again in Saanich; has your neighbourhood been targeted?

  • Feb. 1, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Thieves breaking in to cars are actively preying on four Saanich neighbourhoods.

Residents reported 122 vehicle break-ins last month, a 60 per cent jump from the year before (80 in Jan. 2010).

Saanich police are concerned criminals are now smashing windows and breaking locks to gain entry — unlocked vehicles had been the primary targets previously.

“Typically these crimes are about forced entry, but that appears to have changed lately,” said Sgt. Dean Jantzen. “Yes, people are locking their (car) doors, but that’s not deterrent enough if there’s something of value left in your vehicle.”

The areas being targeted are the Tillicum/Burnside neighbourhood (around Tillicum Centre), the streets along Maplewood Road, the McKenzie/Quadra area and North Shelbourne around Elnido Road.

“We believe there’s more than one group at work here,” Jantzen said. “These offences occur generally around where one of these offenders live or frequents.”

Police believe the 122 reported crimes are just a fraction of the actual number of vehicles broken into. Many people don’t report these incidents because of a perceived hassle in reporting the crime — or nothing was taken, Jantzen said.

In early 2010, police saw a similar spike in thefts from autos.

By mid-February 2010 there had been 120 thefts from vehicles. By mid-June, there were 508 reported incidents, a 43 per cent jump from 355 in 2009.

At the time, police attributed that to the prevalence of electronic devices such as Bluetooth earpieces following the introduction of hands-free legislation on Jan. 1, 2010.

“You look through our lost property and you see Bluetooth after Bluetooth after visor Bluetooth after cell phone,” Jantzen said. “It’s tough to say whether the two (new legislation and spike in thefts from autos) are related.”

The best way to protect yourself is by leaving nothing in your car – no portable electronics, no loose change, no shopping bags, no purses or wallets.

“I feel like a broken record player putting out this advisory almost every week, but we’re reaching epidemic proportions,” Jantzen said.

Police will be deploying bait cars and other investigative tactics in different neighbourhoods to attempt to curb these incidents.

Anyone with information on any of the rashes of theft from autos are asked to call Saanich police at 250-475-4321.

Just Posted

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read