RCMP in Kelowna arrested 11 people and recovered 15 stolen vehicles during a three-week operation targeting prolific auto theft suspects in their areas.
Local Mounties were aided by a large surveillance team from the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT.
RCMP report that on July 23, five people were arrested after investigators observed two subjects in a stolen dump truck.
Tasha Dawn Smith and Daniel Frank Briggs, both 40, were later charged with possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.
Three young offenders were charged in a separate incident after surveillance was established on a vehicle that was stolen earlier in the day. The names cannot be released.
On July 25, police observed someone driving a stolen vehicle. Officers arrested 19-year-old Lenny James Lipscombe of Kelowna who was charged with a single count of possession of stolen property and two counts of breach of his probation.
Police say Lipscombe will likely face more charges.
They say two others were arrested during the initiative however charges have not yet been laid.
“While enforcement action is a valuable tool in reducing auto crime, the most valuable tool is in every citizen’s hand. Prevention,” says Inspector Brian MacDonald, officer in charge of IMPACT. “The majority of auto crime is the result of insecure vehicles. Keys left in the vehicle, valuables left in plain view, and the lack of anti-theft devices contribute to high crime rates.”
“Several of the offenders arrested during this initiative were responsible for multiple thefts within the regional detachment area,” said Sergeant Alex Lynch, head of Kelowna SEU.