Property crimes down in rural areas of the South Okanagan - InfoNews

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Property crimes down in rural areas of the South Okanagan

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November 30, 2016 - 7:00 PM

PENTICTON - RCMP are reporting rural property crime in the South Okanagan declined significantly in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period a year ago.

According to a report by Staff Sgt. Kirsten Marshall with the Penticton RCMP detachment, property crime in the rural areas of the South Okanagan is down 16 per cent in the third quarter.

Marshall notes a decrease of 4.6 per cent in calls for service in the Osoyoos RCMP detachment area at 1,033 compared to 1,083 during the third quarter last year. Fifty per cent of the detachment’s assault files were domestic assaults.

There were 1,002 calls for service at the Oliver RCMP detachment compared to 1,079 during the same period last year. She notes a large decrease in criminal code files. There was a 22 per cent drop in the number of business break and enters from 37 to 22. Residential break-ins were down 63 per cent from 27 to 10.

A single night’s crime spree in Keremeos resulted in a spike in break and enters from six last year to 14 in 2016. Marshall says in her report, a prolific offender who moved to Keremeos may have been responsible for much of the property crime. He has since been apprehended for auto theft and has been in custody since August.

Mail theft was an issue in the Princeton detachment area as calls for service rose by 1.9 per cent. A large increase in shoplifting was also noted, with one offender believed responsible for two shoplifting incidents accounting for 28.6 per cent of the total number of shoplifting files.

Calls for service rose in Summerland by 4.2 per cent in the third quarter, from 782 in 2015 to 815 this year. Forty-five per cent of assault files were domestic assaults, while four of the 11 vehicle thefts that took place were unsuccessful attempts to steal pickup trucks. Four of the other vehicle theft files involved theft of motorbikes or dirt bikes.

Marshall credits an increased police presence in the form of proactive street checks in rural communities, in addition to efforts made to keep a watchful eye on prolific offenders, who “have no boundaries and are often committing crime in multiple communities.”

She says collaborative work between RCMP detachments in the region and other police units have also been successful in bringing offenders to justice.

Her report is going to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board meeting tomorrow, Dec.1.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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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