Less Christmastime crime in the Hope area: RCMP

Reported break-and-enters and theft from vehicles down from previous years

Reported vehicle and home break-ins over the holidays were lower than previous years, says the Hope area’s top RCMP officer.

Staff Sgt. Karol Rehdner said there were six reported break-and-enters in Hope between Dec. 1 and Jan. 5: two residences, two sheds or trailers and two businesses.

Four people reported thefts from their vehicles, a decrease from previous years during a time when people often leave valuables in their cars.

“Kudos to the community members in ensuring that they didn’t keep purses, wallets, GPSs, recent Christmas purchases in plain view,” Rehdner said.

Thirty seconds is all that’s needed to break a window and steal an item left in plain view, Rehdner said, and items such as passports and drivers licences can be detrimental if they get into the wrong hands.

Of the two residential break-ins, Rehdner said one was an attempted entry without anything stolen.

The second may have been an act of retribution as the residents have or previously had ties to the criminal community. No one has been arrested or identified in these break-ins.

Two people have been arrested for the first of the two business break-ins. Further details could not be provided as their charges had not yet been sworn before the courts.

In the second business break-in, one person was arrested but later released after an agreement was reached.

“There was a lengthy discussion between the property owner and family. An agreement was reached that there was going to be no charges,” Rehdner said.

“While we were in a position to lay charges, it was not in the public good to go further in this.”

While the numbers are good for the Christmas season, Rehdner stressed they only reflect reported crimes. He urged community members who have been targets of these crimes to report them.

“They’ll never know if that’s the piece of information that is going to tie an investigation all together and allow us to move forward with arrests of individuals involved,” he said.

To keep their properties safe, Rehdner said property owners should lock doors and windows, including supplemental locking mechanisms on windows, and keep their lights on.

If they will be away for a few hours or days, he added it’s a good idea to have a neighbour keep an eye on their home.

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