Thieves targeting Oak Bay homes in a spike of break-and-enters

Thieves targeting Oak Bay homes in a spike of break-and-enters
WatchIt's a crime wave targetting vacationing homeowners. In July, Saanich Police reported a spike in break and enters in July. Now Oak Bay is reporting more B&E's since June first than all of 2018. Mary Griffin reports.

Oak Bay was not typically known for its crime rate up until this summer.

Oak Bay Police Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties said homeowners, in particular, are being targeted in break-and-enters.

“Since June first, we’ve had 19 break-and-enters in Oak Bay, which is abnormally high. Last year, for the entire calendar year, we had 18. And we’re at 19 just for the summer here,” Bernoties said.

One concern is the number of break-ins occurring when the residents are on vacation, nine in the past three months. The thieves in those instances take their time.

“They are going through all your drawers, throwing things out. And just ransacking your home, which is an absolute violation. And we don’t want anyone to experience that,” Bernoties said.

In July, Saanich Police Sgt. Julie Fast reported 20 homes targeted between March and July.

“We believe these houses have been intentionally targeted because the homeowners are away. Which is giving whoever is breaking in kind of the luxury of time to really go through the house,” Fast said.

Police believe the thieves are active throughout the Capital Regional District.

“Someone knows who the suspect is. And we’d love them to call us. If they don’t want to call us, they can call Crimestoppers. And possibly receive a reward from Crimestoppers,” Bernoties said.

The police are requesting the public to be alert for any person or vehicle in their neighbourhood that appear to be out of place.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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