Nanaimo RCMP warning public about rise in break-and-enters

Nanaimo RCMP warning public about rise in break-and-enters

Break-ins up more than 50 per cent compared to same time in 2017, say police

The Nanaimo RCMP is warning the public to take extra precautions during the holiday season as police receive rising numbers of reports of break-ins to residences.

According to police, during the first two weeks of December there have been 32 reported break-ins, compared to 20 for the same time period in 2017.

The most recent break-and-enter was reported at approximately noon on Monday at a home on Asteria Place, which resulted in a 31-year-old woman being arrested after a resident discovered her in his home, preparing to leave with his laptop. The woman fled but was caught a short distance away by officers. The laptop was recovered along with items taken from a nearby grocery store. The suspect was later released on a promise to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in late January to face charges on charges of break-and-enter and theft.

O’Brien said police believe a number of people are responsible for the recent rash of break-ins, which have been happening throughout the city.

“We’ve had some along Hammond Bay Road. We’ve had some in the central [Nanaimo] area of Terminal Avenue. We’ve had them in south Nanaimo. All over,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

A number of cases involved rear windows being pried open with tools found in backyard sheds. Other break-ins involve thieves entering through unlocked doors and windows.

Items preferred by thieves include small electronics, cash, jewelry, wallets, passports, alcohol, and in some cases collectible coin sets and bikes. In one instance, wrapped Christmas gifts and various other items were stolen.

Most break-ins are happening during daylight hours when people are at work and criminals have a better chance of not encountering residents.

“They know that most people aren’t home, which goes to show that the criminals are more interested in your items than you,” O’Brien said. “They’re more interested in taking your items. They don’t want to have contact with people. They can go undetected and they can get in and out.”

The frequency of thefts also always rises around the holiday season when most homes, vehicles and commercial businesses have extra valuables on the premises.

Home owners must continue to be vigilant, O’Brien said, while police continue to pursue those responsible.

“You chose to live in an area. You have a right to peace and enjoyment of that, but everybody has to be on the same page and report things that don’t look right,” he said. “If you see somebody in your neighbourhood that just doesn’t fit in. Just keep an eye on where they’re going. If you see a car that doesn’t fit into the background keep an eye on the car. Maybe get a licence plate. Report it to us because these people who are going to target your neighbourhood are going to target other neighbourhoods and that’s how we put a stop to it. You can’t assume that we know all the criminals and all the activity going on in Nanaimo … We can’t be there 24-7 so we need the assistance of the public.”

Nanaimo RCMP offers the following tips to help cut down on thefts:

  • When away from home ensure that passports and collectibles are out of sighte.
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Consider installing an alarm system.
  • Engrave valuables with your driver’s licence number and take photos of them.
  • Don’t leave garage door openers in unattended vehicles.
  • Start a Block Watch chapter to help improve home security and communication with neighbours and police.

Anyone with information about recent break-and-enters in the area is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seventy-four international students are expected to come to Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district for the last half of the 2020021 school year, says the district. (School District 68 image)
Nanaimo school district educating 160 international students during pandemic school year

Fifty-seven students from abroad arrived Jan. 14-18, says SD68

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Nanaimo RCMP investigated after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Woodgrove Centre, Nanaimo RCMP investigating

Officers have searched areas of the mall accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

(News Bulletin file photo)
Car crashes along the Nanaimo Parkway, driver abandons vehicle

Mazda with ‘extensive damage’ found in the ditch in the early-morning hours Jan. 19

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head prison inmates in receive first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Vancouver Island University. (File photo)
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read