Crime mostly up in Comox Valley

Vehicle theft, break and enters, shoplifting, bike theft, fraud and most forms of criminal activity are on the rise in the Comox Valley.

From Cumberland, Comox Valley RCMP Insp. Tim Walton says police received a 19 per cent increase in calls over the last year.

“Which is consistent with parts of the Valley,” he told Cumberland council June 12. “Overall, the Valley increased about 2.7 per cent calls for service.”

He said “some happy exceptions” are assaults, harassments and threats.

“Which is nice to see in the violent category.”

Across the entire valley, theft from vehicles is “way up.”

“Talking to our crime reduction group, they mentioned five different people that we have our eye on now, stealing from cars,” Walton said.

Common items stolen from unlocked vehicles include wallets, change, keys, cellphones and credit cards. Walton notes the tap feature on credit cards is frequently used by thieves.

“We have some evidence of groups of people around town doing this.”

For those who don’t use the feature, he suggests having your bank disable it.

“Please lock your cars,” he said.

Business break and enters were slightly up in the village, but residential b and e’s have almost doubled in the past year. Tools are commonly stolen.

Bike theft has increased in the past year across Vancouver Island. Most stolen bikes are unlocked and the serial number unknown.

Walton notes another issue is chronic, high-risk runaways. Police are collaborating with other agencies to reduce the problem.

He implores the public not to be shy when it comes to reporting suspicious activity.

Call the detachment at (250) 338-1321.