Thefts from vehicles have taken a big jump in Vernon in the first quarter this year.
RCMP Inspector Gord Stewart, the acting officer in charge of the detachment, told city council, it’s driving property crimes up.
“It’s a combination of factors related to that. It’s an easy crime to commit, and secondly, despite our many efforts to get our message out to the public, people continue to leave wallets, and iPads, and purses, and items of value in their vehicles overnight. The criminals know that so they continue to commit their offences,” says Stewart.
He says tap technology is making it much easier for thieves to put stolen credit cards to use.
“Once a person gets a credit card or a bank card, they need no code, no name, no nothing. They can go around and commit as many frauds as they like. And each one of those frauds adds to our file count after the fact,” says Stewart.
Police attended to about 200 thefts from vehicles in Vernon during the first quarter, from January to March, 80 more than the same period last year.
“We really get a broad spectrum of people committing this offence. Sometimes it’s kids, sometimes it’s people in their 40’s. It’s just people looking for easy money really,” adds the Inspector.
Property crimes were up 6% in the first quarter locally, while criminal code offences rose 10%.