Police patrol downtown Hope in late September.

Police warn of increase in vehicle-related crimes

Hope RCMP detachment commander Staff Sgt. Karol Rehdner warns of a recent rise in auto theft and theft from vehicles.

Hope RCMP detachment commander Staff Sgt. Karol Rehdner warns of a recent rise in auto theft and theft from vehicles.

According to statistics provided by Rehdner,  auto theft has risen 75 per cent when comparing the 28-day period from Sept. 5 to Oct. 2 against the Oct. 3 to Oct. 30 period. It has risen 19 per cent year-to-date last year compared to this year.

Theft from vehicles has risen by 175 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.

The statistics encompass all of the detachment’s area, which also includes Boston Bar.

Rehdner noted in an email that RCMP is “actively following up investigations as well as conducting pro-active enforcement in an effort to stem this tide.”

Rehdner added that they are targeting specific individuals regarding these offences.”

Rehdner notes that theft from vehicles “is troubling.”

Rehdner said he will continue education efforts to make people aware that they should not leave valuables in plain sight within their vehicles.

They are also targeting specific locations and suspects in their enforcement work.

Rehdner also highlighted that there has been a decrease in possible stolen property. It has decreased by 25 per cent comparing period-to-period, and 125 per cent year-to-year.

“Couple this with a continuing dedication to conducting street checks (which is direct face to face policing) and targeted enforcement and I expect more charges in the coming weeks as investigations culminate,” said Rehdner.

The Standard was unable to get a follow-up interview with Rehdner.

However, Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail added that even loose change can result in a theft from vehicle crime.

He advised the public to always lock their car doors and remove garage door remotes.

Rail also added that police are concentrating on their street checks in the downtown area around Memorial Park.