The new year has brought new problems for the Agassiz RCMP, who dealt with an increase in break- and-enters and thefts from vehicles between January and March of this year, compared to the same three- month span in 2017, according to Sgt. Darren Rennie’s first-quarter report.
While the Village of Harrison saw a 13 per cent decrease in vehicle break-ins, (from eight in the first three months of 2017 to seven during the same time frame this year,) the District of Kent had a whopping 175 per cent increase in the number of thefts from vehicles – jumping from eight in 2017 to 22 in 2018.
“Most thefts are from insecure vehicles,” Rennie said. “I cannot remind people enough to secure their vehicles and to remove any valuables.”
Overall property crime was down in Harrison, but that will likely change after police were called to four residential break-and-enters in the Village in April.
According to Rennie, two of the break-ins – one on Miami River Drive and the other at a seasonal home on Lillooet Avenue – resulted in a total of 14 firearms stolen from the properties.
Rennie urged all gun owners to record firearm serial numbers.
“The serial numbers are key in the police attempts to locate and return the firearms,” he wrote. “Anyone with information into these break- and-enters is asked to call the Agassiz detachment or Crime Stoppers.”
Utilizing the Integrated Forensic Identification Section at both scenes, RCMP continue to investigate the thefts.
The number of break-and-enters in Popkum increased a shocking 367 per cent compared to last year, with the number of break-and-enter crimes jumping from three to 16 – half of which were residential break-ins.
“We conducted covert surveillance and were successful in arresting a property crime offender in the Popkum area, which stopped the break-ins for several weeks,” Rennie said. “Homeowners, neighbours and communities need to come together to help protect each other’s homes from those who wish to target them for break-ins.”
Popkum also experienced a 133 per cent jump in the number of thefts from vehicles.
The police continue to ask the public to report any suspicious activity.
But 2017 was also marked with positive moments for the local police force.
“The Agassiz RCMP participated in fundraising efforts to support a local family, donated gifts to a family in need at Christmas, raised money for Cops For Cancer and raised money and food donations for the local food bank.”