Sleepy Sidney faces radical spike in vehicle smash-and-grabs
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:24PM PDT
Without warning, the Sidney-North Saanich region has seen a crime wave wash over the normally quiet community, according to police.
RCMP investigators say over the past week they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of forceful break-ins involving vehicles, with nine such thefts taking place in just the last five days.
Four of the thefts have involved underground parkades and five involved the "punching" of car door locks.
"They are using force to blast through the door handle locks,” Const. Meighan de Pass told CTV News. “We are seeing an increased level of skill.”
Mounties say thieves are specifically targeting underground parking lots for apartment and condo complexes.
Investigators say this is a new trend in the area which appears to be catching the public off-guard. Police say many drivers who park below ground on the peninsula have a false sense of security and leave vehicles unlocked.
Officers also say they are seeing an advanced level of force in the break-ins.
Police are asking drivers to ensure their vehicle doors are secure, and also ensure unknown vehicles or people do not follow them into parkades.