MAP: Some Vernon break-ins solved, many others still being investigated - InfoNews

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MAP: Some Vernon break-ins solved, many others still being investigated

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January 16, 2017 - 5:00 PM

VERNON - Vernon’s trouble with break and enters has carried on despite several recent arrests.

In the past month, police put two Okanagan men in handcuffs — James Macdonald and William Mathieson. Between them, they are believed to be responsible for at least three home break-ins.

Back in October, police arrested Derek Hawthorne for a break-in at the Civic Arena, and another suspect was apprehended in early December. While those cases are before the courts, many other break-in cases remain under investigation.

Since December, there have been more than a dozen residential and commercial break and enters and the pattern does not appear to be slowing down, Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy says.

“We seem to be catching one person, and another one starts up,” Noseworthy says.

Homes have been broken into at all hours, including early morning and during the daytime while people are at work. Electronics, jewellery and cash are most commonly taken. Break-ins have been a significant issue in Vernon since last summer, when property crime jumped nearly nine per cent. 

“They are files, unfortunately, that are difficult to solve,” Noseworthy says.

One of the biggest issues is the lack of video surveillance, particularly in home break-ins, she says. Another common challenge is a lack of witnesses, since thieves usually target areas where no one is around.

“So, we’re usually backtracking trying to trace them back to items we find that were stolen, or in cases of credit cards, things they’ve used,” Noseworthy says.

Break-ins and thefts from vehicles can be quite demanding on police resources because they often branch out into other crimes, such as fraud if stolen credit cards and identification are used. 

If police notice a particular neighbourhood is being hit especially hard, they may conduct patrols in unmarked vehicles, Noseworthy says. But, it is perhaps residents who can play the biggest role in solving these crimes. The two arrests made in the past month were both aided by tips from the public and alert neighbours. Residents are encouraged to alert the RCMP is they notice any unusual activity in their neighbourhood. 


Use the plus or minus symbols to zoom in and out, and click on this interactive map to see different locations. 

A map of break-and-enters since September 2016.

Newly reported North Okanagan break-ins: 

  • On Jan. 9 it was reported to Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP that a residence in the 4900 block of Heritage Drive in Vernon was broken into overnight. A vehicle key, some alcohol and a pair of boots were stolen.
  • On Jan. 11 at about 4:30 a.m. an unknown person broke into the compound of Westwood Electric on Fairweather Road in Vernon and stole two rolls of copper wire.
  • On Jan. 13 it was reported to the North Okanagan RCMP that a residence in the 100 block of George Street in Enderby was broken into between noon and 7:30 p.m. Ten Blueray discs, a silver chain, a watch and an undisclosed amount of cash were stolen from the residence.
  • On Jan. 15 at 4:45 a.m. North Okanagan RCMP responded to an alarm at the Enderby Inn and Beer Store on Cliff Ave in Enderby. An unknown person forced entry into the business through a window. Two bottles of Fireball whiskey were taken.
  • On Jan. 15, it was reported to Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP that a shop on a residential property in the 7500 block of L&A Road was broken into overnight. A snowmobile backpack, two sets of avalanche probes, a shovel, two transponder beacons, Oakley ski goggles, a hockey bag, a compound bow, shotgun shells and the keys to a snowmobile were stolen.

Police continue to ask for tips from the public in all unsolved break and enters. You can call the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 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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