Bait car program helps with crime decrease

The evidence against the Vernon man was apparently overwhelming.

The evidence against the Vernon man was apparently overwhelming.

Vernon RCMP received notice at 1:40 a.m. on Sept. 2 of a bait car activation.

While the suspect did not steal the car at the time, the video from the bait car was retrieved and a suspect could be seen removing items from the interior of the car.

The suspect was identified through consultation with probation.

“Quite often, we’ll check with our partners we work with and quite often they will know or help us identify an individual,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

The suspect was arrested with the assistance of the Downtown Enforcement Unit, interviewed, and, when confronted with the video evidence, the 22-year-old man confessed to the theft.

He was released to appear in court at a later date.

“The bait car program has been very useful throughout the province in reducing theft from vehicles as well as theft of vehicles and now boats, ATVs and bikes,” said Molendyk. “Would-be thieves should be aware that at any given day, the bait car and program is in effect in our area. It might not just be a vehicle that could catch you.”

In the past year, there has been more than 150 fewer reports of thefts from vehicles in the Vernon area.

From Jan. 1 to Sept. 6, 2012, there had been 579 reports (one more than the same time frame in 2012).

But in 2013, over that same nine-month period, reports dropped to 438.

While the bait car program plays a part in that, Molendyk believes there’s another reason for the decrease.

“I would say the biggest contribution has been the efforts of our crime reduction program,” he said. “We have a team of dedicated officers that are looking at prolific offenders. We know there are a number of individuals in our communities that continue to do the majority of the crimes.

“We have a team identifying and targeting those individuals.”

The Vernon RCMP want to thank its partners in probation and parole in its ongoing work to stop the individuals that continue to do this kind of  criminal activity in the North Okanagan.