Some Vernon criminals are going green.
Vernon RCMP are investigating an unusual rash of bicycle thefts on the weekend, and those responsible are believed to be using the bikes to commit more crime.
“Sunday and Monday, police were kept busy responding to several calls of reported thefts that had occurred overnight,” said Cpl. Gerry Kovacs.
“In the majority of cases, these thefts occurred from motor vehicles that had been left unlocked with valuables and money left inside, and it seems their mode of transport favours the bicycle, many of which we believe were stolen. It makes them hard to catch when they’re on bikes.”
Kovacs said a suspect would take a bike, ride it to one part of town, go through some unlocked vehicles and take money or valuables. They would then ditch that bike and take another one, riding to a different part of town and starting the whole process over.
“All of the crimes this weekend were crimes of opportunity,” said Kovacs. “The bikes were left unlocked and they just helped themselves to cars that were left unlocked.”
The thefts happened in various parts of the community.
Police are again reminding everyone to lock up bikes, keep valuables hidden or at least taken out of vehicles, and make sure vehicles and storage sheds are locked.
“You can’t leave anything in a car,” said Kovacs. “If they see a loonie, they’re going to take it. It’s that simple.”
Also causing concern for RCMP is the fact that several high-end, or high-value, bikes were stolen.
Kovacs suggests owners of such bikes take extra precaution in securing them.
“Make them identifiable for us somehow,” he said. “Record serial numbers or engrave your driver’s licence number on the front of the bike.”
If a bike of any type is stolen, make a report to RCMP by calling 250-545-7171.
“If we find it, there’s a chance we can marry up the bike with its owner,” said Kovacs.
“We always end up with bikes in our custody because we haven’t found the owners. And, if you’re a victim, let us know.”