Rash of vehicle content thefts lead to arrest

Trent Ernst, Editor


Tumbler Ridge RCMP, assisted by Dawson Creek Police Dog Services, executed a search warrant on a local residence on October 6.

The search resulted in the recovery of several items allegedly stolen during the rash of theft from vehicle incidents that have been occurring throughout the community as of late.

During the search, police arrested a 16 year old youth, who appeared before a Justice of the Peace where they were released on strict conditions, one of which was a curfew. The youth will appear later this year in Tumbler Ridge Provincial Youth Court.

At this time, charges of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime under $5000 as well as Fraud Under $5000 have been laid. As police continue with their investigation, additional charges are anticipated.

Sergeant Craig Learning says that they have recovered “a tonne of material” from a rash of thefts that occurred last week. He says that they suspect that the suspect was responsible for another spree of break-ins that happened a few weeks ago, but they are still processing all the material. “On the sixth, we had eight separate theft from vehicle investigations; that’s a huge spike. There was another rash a few weeks ago; if our theory is correct, we should see a decline, but I don’t want to say that everyone should leave their car doors unlocked or anything.”

Learning says that, while they are fairly confident that this person was responsible for a large majority of the break ins, people still need to be cautious. “Can I say this one person is ultimately responsible? We’ve recovered property that we suspect is from thefts from weeks back, so that’s our theory, but we’re still investigating. We suspect this same person has been involved in previous thefts, but that’s still being investigation. Everybody needs to be careful and diligent. You need to make sure your vehicles are locked and never trust your fob. Physically check your vehicle to make sure their locked. You never know if they are truly locked until you’ve checked the doors.”

Learning says that he’s heard reports of people threatening to take matters in their own hands, and warns that is not the best idea. “People should refrain from engaging in such conduct, as they might find themselves criminally responsible.”

If people are concerned, they could consider joining the Citizens on Patrol Group, which is “semi-active” in Tumbler Ridge. To find out more about the program, contact the local detachment at 250-242-5252.

But, says Learning, the most basic thing that people can do is report crimes when they happen. The more information the police have, he says, the better they can do their jobs. “Unfortunately, a lot of this stuff is going unreported. Just yesterday we got two calls from people who reported their vehicles were broken into, only because they heard about this arrest. We’ll do what we can, but people need to report things when things happen.”

He says this arrest came as the direct result of a tip they received from a community member. “We encourage people to continue to report and give us information. Community policing isn’t just the police policing, it’s the community getting involved too, and reporting things to us.”

The accused’s name will not be released as per the Youth Criminal Justice Act.