A rash of thefts and car break ins in the Lower Similkameen is prompting local RCMP officers to remind residents to lock their vehicles and report anything suspicious around their property.
Thieves have made off with two flatbed trailers in the last week and broken into at least four vehicles mainly around the rural areas of Cawston. A truck and an ATV have also been stolen.
“There has been a bit of a spree lately,” Cpl. Brian Evans of the Keremeos RCMP detachment said. “The common theme is that the victims have heard some noises but didn’t suspect anything so they didn’t check it out. They get up in the morning and find something missing or a vehicle broken into.”
One of the more brazen thefts occurred sometime either late Sunday night or Monday morning when two people in an extended cab truck ransacked vehicles in the Tree to Me parking lot.
The parking lot to Tree to Me is lit and visible from Highway 3A. There are also full-time residents that live at the popular organic farm/cafe/guest suite business.
The thieves broke into three vehicles. The window of a tourist’s SUV was smashed and golf clubs taken.
“We encourage people if they hear some noises at night to investigate what the noise is and if it is something to call 911 immediately and report it and we will respond. That’s the only way to catch those guys. There might be some evidence left behind in the morning but if people wait it takes away the opportunity to catch them in the act or catch them in the area.”
Evans said there’s no way of knowing if the two people involved in the Tree to Me break ins are the same responsible for stealing two flatbed trailers or breaking into other vehicles over the past week.
He added a peak in break ins and thefts is not uncommon in communities throughout the South Okanagan.
“It’s not super surprising. These things do go in spurts. A certain criminal element gets out of jail and they start to target an area. If they’re successful they keep coming back. A lot of times they don’t live or aren’t staying in the community. They’re crimes of opportunity. They drive around looking for something they can access easily.”