Auto thief in black balaclava trying to break into car with screwdriver. (Pixabay photo)

Auto thief in black balaclava trying to break into car with screwdriver. (Pixabay photo)

Spike in thefts from vehicles, smashed windows in Saanich prompt police reminder

Police ask vehicle owners to lock up, remove valuables

A recent rash of thefts from vehicles in Saanich prompted police to remind residents to lock up and remove valuables.

The department has seen an increase in items being stolen from vehicles lately.

Between May 17 and 20, 11 vehicle break-ins were reported in Saanich, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the police department. Four occurred during the day between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and two involved smashed windows – both incidents occurred near Mount Douglas Park.

In the four weeks prior, six or more vehicle break-ins were reported each week, he said. While the vehicles were unlocked in most cases, some incidents involved windows being smashed. In these cases, officers believe that purses, backpacks, wallets and phones were left in plain sight and targeted by thieves.

READ ALSO: Saanich police report increase in violent crimes during first quarter of 2021

“While we work to identify suspects, vehicle owners can help prevent these thefts, particularly glass breaks, by removing all items from plain sight,” Anastasiades said. If items cannot be removed, they should be stored in the glove box, trunk or under seats where they can’t be seen through a window.

He recommends trying to make sure the vehicle looks new before locking up – meaning remove or stow all items so it looks empty.

Vehicle break-ins that have already occurred can be reported by calling the non-emergency line at 250-475-4321.


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District of Saanichtheft