Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Scott West says the recent rash of thefts from vehicles in the community has been resolved without arrests.
Police statistics show six incidents of break-and-enter and 16 incidents of theft from vehicles were reported to the Sicamous RCMP detachment in April.
In a May 5 report to District of Sicamous council, West states some of the culprits involved with the thefts from vehicles have been identified, and police are “investigating those offences in an attempt to charge these individuals.”
On Friday, May 29, West told the News the thefts from vehicles that occurred in mid-to late-April, and those in May, are believed to have been the work of different individuals.
“There’s two ways to police this type of thing,” said West. “You can try getting a charge with physical evidence and interviews and good, solid on the beat police work. And then there’s when you know who it is, you can try and catch them in the act.
“In the first case we tried to catch them in the act. It took longer than the community was willing to wait and may or may not have ever happened in which case we have to make a decision as to how we’re going to deal with these specific individuals.”
The suspect behind the first spate of thefts was identified by police with assistance from the community. That person, said West, was confronted by police, and the situation is being managed “through the community and RCMP involvement, as well as the involvement of parents.”
Regarding the second spate of thefts, West said Sicamous RCMP managed to identify a suspect very quickly, and “basically confronted him.”
West said that individual was essentially told to “stop what you’re doing or we’ll catch you… take whatever action that we can, that the law allows; or leave, just get out of town.”
“We’ve received information that he’s decided to leave the community,” said West, adding the individual remains on the Sicamous detachment’s radar. “If he returns and we find out about it, we’ll be making a visit to make sure he’s going to stay on the straight and narrow.”
West said the RCMP Southeast District crime analyst has also been made aware of the individual and where he’s believed to have relocated, and that information will be forwarded to the next detachment.
“Anytime we have a crime spree like that, if we know we’ve displaced something, we make sure that we call the detachment where we think he’s gone so they have a heads-up that that’s where he is,” said West.
In his report to council, West asks that people be supported in reporting information to police pertaining to suspicious or criminal activity.
“The involvement of the community is instrumental to effectively police our community as we target criminals locally,” said West
Mayor Terry Rysz recognizes and encourages the same. He spoke with West regarding the thefts after concerns were raised in council by Coun. Todd Kyllo and the public.
“I think we need to get a message out to the community that we need to help the policing out here as much as we possibly can,” said Rysz, adding he will be meeting with Kathy Keam at the Safety Fair this Saturday (Finlayson Park, 10 a.m to 1 p.m.) to discuss getting the communities Citizens on Patrol program up and running again.
“The program used to be quite active here in Sicamous but we’ve lost quite a few of the people that were involved with it,” said Rysz. “We’re going to maybe work towards trying to improve that and hopefully we can, and that will be a big help for the RCMP as well.”