It was a busy lead-up to Christmas for Penticton police.
RCMP responded to 65 calls on Dec. 23 including a suspicious truck which was parked outside of Home Hardware. Police found out the vehicle was stolen and a man was sleeping inside. The back of the truck was filled with tools which police suspect were stolen from the Kaleden area in recent thefts.
Prolific offender Jeffrey Donald James Pelly was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and a breach of probation. Pelly was released on bail on Dec. 29 in Penticton Provincial Court.
“The 23 and 24 was non-stop thefts and other stuff. Very, very busy for this time of year. Once Christmas Eve hit it was definitely manageable,” said Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth, adding that after multiple vehicle collisions took place during the first big snowfall, drivers tended to slow down, reducing the amount of collisions.
RCMP dealt with 52 files on Christmas Eve including multiple reports of thefts from vehicles the night before. Safety equipment was reported stolen from a vehicle parked at Canyon Court and multiple vehicles were rummaged through on Wellington Avenue, Ridgedale Avenue and ski goggles and a digital camera were taken from a vehicle at Sunset Place. An iPad 2 with a case and charger were taken from a vehicle at Williamson Place, binoculars were stolen from a vehicle on Quebec Street and a snowboard as well as an external hard drive were stolen from a vehicle on Dewdney Crescent. Police are saying some of the thefts could likely be the work of one culprit, but not all of them.
“There’s a number of individuals in the community that do that. It’s not just one person travelling around and they are looking for that opportunity of open vehicles. Try 20 doors, two are open, those are the ones that get stuff stolen from them.”
RCMP remind citizens to remove all valuable items from vehicles.