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Kettle Valley residents worried about recent spike in crime

Chute Lake Elementary School in Kelowna's Kettle Valley neighbourhood.
July 26, 2017 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA – Ashley and Jonathan Lupul chose Kettle Valley as their home eight years ago because it’s “quiet, quaint, cute and family friendly.”

“I thought it would be a safe place to raise my kids.”

This year, however, she is seeing and hearing things she never has before.

“I haven’t experienced any thefts directly to me but I feel like I hear about it almost daily,” she says. “I don't remember ever hearing about any crime before this. Now cars being broken into, someone I know had a soccer ball stolen, there has been graffiti and vandalism. Two weeks ago our park was hit up with silver graffiti on the wall and the big compass and the benches.”

While out for a walk last Saturday, July 22, her 10-year-old son showed her the remnants of what looked like a party held behind Chute Lake Elementary School.

“It was an obscene amount of broken glass in multiple locations around the school yard,” she says. “Tons of beer cans, liquor bottles, junk food wrappers as well as a condom.”

Some of the mess Kettle Valley resident Ashley Lupul cleaned up from a local playground last weekend.
Some of the mess Kettle Valley resident Ashley Lupul cleaned up from a local playground last weekend.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ashley Lupul

Also, she says, a troubling number of cigarette butts given the high fire risk.

She spent more than an hour of her own time cleaning up as much of the mess as she could, especially the broken glass.

“It’s flip flop season,” she says. “I walk through there almost daily. My son goes there almost every day.”

Kerri Jost posted to Facebook last weekend a photo she took of a small baggie containing a white powder she found in a Kettle Valley park.

"Just a reminder to my family, friends and neighbours that even if we live in nice neighbourhoods that drugs are everywhere. Please show your kids and educate them not to touch it and get an adult. So scary."

Several Kettle Valley residents are reporting a rise in petty crime this summer.
Several Kettle Valley residents are reporting a rise in petty crime this summer.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Kerri Jost

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says crime analysts have identified Kettle Valley as a “crime hot spot” and warns resident to secure their belongings and report any suspicious activity. He says just last week they arrested a 27-year-old Kelowna man who was found in a stolen vehicle in the area and arrested.

“Our crime analysts have noticed an increase in petty crimes and theft from motor vehicles,” he says in an email.

Lupul says based on some of the garbage she cleaned up, the partyers behind Chute Lake Elementary were likely young, but since no one saw or heard anything she doesn’t want to point fingers at neighbourhood kids.

She says it's concerning when you find over 40 beer bottles in a playground.

“You would hope that was not just one or two kids.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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