A sharp increase in property crime that spiked last year in Lake Country appears to have decreased in the first few months of this year.
But RCMP Sgt. Jayson Lucash says residents need to maintain good habits of locking doors on vehicles and homes and not tempting thieves, who may be in the area cruising for easy targets.
“The message still needs to get out there to lock vehicles, remove valuables from vehicles and be vigilant. Know your neighbours and if something seems to be out of the norm, don’t be afraid to call us,” he said.
“The numbers have come down. We have dealt with some of them through the court system and the messaging may have got through.”
Property crime, theft and mischief in Lake Country saw a sharp increase in 2015 compared to the year before, increasing as much as 60 per cent in year-over-year statistics provided by the RCMP.
Lucash said the statistics spiked with a rash of property crime that was associated to suspects from out of town coming through the area and looking for easy targets, as well as a group of local youth who were doing the same thing.
In both cases, suspects would cruise for unlocked cars and gain access to things like garage door openers that would allow them into homes, or bank cards with the new tap technology that allowed thieves to commit fraud around town.
Another trend saw homes under construction being hit with break and enters shortly after things like major appliances were delivered.
To deal with the break and enters, Lucash says RCMP embarked on an education campaign, distributing pamphlets and news releases and meeting with community groups to urge people to lock up valuables and don’t make your home or business an easy target.
“Ninety-nine per cent of the time what it comes down to is people locking their vehicles or not leaving items in their vehicles,” he said.
“It’s mostly people surfing for the unlocked doors.”
Other stats from the RCMP report point to impaired driving still being an issue on local roads. During the last quarter of 2015 there were 11 individuals issued a 90 day roadside prohibition (fail or refuse).
Fourteen individuals were issued a 24 hour driving prohibition for drugs or alcohol while six individuals were charged with driving while impaired.