Auto related crime up

RCMP report dip in crime, except for slight increase in auto theft and theft from cars

Vernon RCMP officers have experienced an increase in thefts related to automobiles. (file photo)

Crime calmed in the North Okanagan over the spring, with the exception of auto-related theft.

For the second quarter of 2017 (April to June), Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP members achieved a 5.41 per cent decrease in criminal code cases from the previous year.

Yet one crime remained steady, showing an increase of 1.78 per cent.

“Theft from motor vehicles remains a constant,” said Supt. Jim McNamara, of this and property crime.

“We saw a fairly significant increase of theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles in Coldstream.”

But those numbers should change as McNamara says some suspects of these crimes are no longer living in the area thanks to the assistance of an alert landlord.

Members were also busy on the roads, reporting a nearly 22 per cent increase in road safety checkstops in the area.

“We took 102 impaired drivers off the road by way of suspension or impaired charge,” said McNamara, of the Vernon/Coldstream numbers – in addition to 19 in the rural areas.

An additional 23 distracted drivers were ticketed in the region.

But crime isn’t the only thing keeping officers busy.

“Officers assisted with issuing evacuation notifications, established road blocks in evacuated areas and pitched in as time permitted to help fill the hundreds of sand bags needed in Coldstream and the Okanagan Landing area,” said McNamara of flood assistance.

Several members have also been deployed to assist at wildfires in the area and around the province.

Now the busier summer months are seeing the use of a new EZ-GO utility vehicle, allowing access to areas difficult to reach by car. The Okanagan Rail Trail could be another area the UTV is used on.

jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com