Property crime rates on the rise: Nanaimo RCMP
VICTORIA -- Nanaimo residents say they are growing concerned about crime in the city after one senior's home was ransacked over the weekend.
Nanaimo resident Judy Gogo was selling Christmas trees in town when her south Nanaimo home was broken into and ransacked on Saturday. The 71-year-old said the thieves not only stole eight pieces of jewelry, but also went through her drawers, paperwork and closet.
"All the drawers were emptied, my hope chest was emptied, and everything was thrown all around the room, and that is when I started screaming," Gogo said after finding the mess. "I will admit I slept with one eye open."
It is a concern that many people in the Nanaimo area admitted to sharing on Monday. Posts on social media, and interviews with CTV, indicate that people are becoming more fearful as local crime rates rise.
RCMP say that property crime numbers, across the province, are increasing.
"A lot of these are petty theft," said Cst. Gary O' Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. "We're talking about theft from vehicles, theft from sheds and items left unattended on properties."
Crime in Nanaimo used to be more isolated to the downtown core, but now thieves are also targeting rural properties, according to police. Mounties say that houses further from the city typically feature long driveways, making it easier for thieves to hide.
"People are looking to pick up anything in exchange for dope," O'Brien said. "It is the root of all evil, 85 per cent of the crime in B.C. is drug based."
Gogo's son, David, a popular local musician, shared his mother's story on social media and said that it's unacceptable that thieves are targeting seniors, stealing their belongings and invading their privacy.
"If you really need to rob someone that badly to get money for whatever reason, that is one thing; but to just wreck their possessions and things of sentimental value is so frustrating," said David Gogo.
Nanaimo RCMP are advising residents to be vigilant, to lock sheds and to bring all personal belongings out of parked vehicles.