Theft ring likely at work in tri-city area; public asked to keep eyes peeled
Police believe an organized group of criminals is likely targeting the area and driving the rash of recent property crimes, according to Trail RCMP Cpl. Darryl Orr.
“We believe there is a larger picture, with a group or groups of individuals working together,” Orr said, in reference to a significant spike in property crimes such as theft from auto, theft of auto, theft of license plates and/or insurance tags, etc. “The hard part is, identifying incidents we believe are related to a specific group, as opposed to a one-off crime of opportunity.
“We need to gather intelligence to make those determinations, and the more help we get from the public, the better,” he said.
For example, he said you might not think anything of seeing someone switch their license plates – but, really, who does that? Most people change the validation tags, not the plates themselves, so if you see someone switching their plates often, please report it.
“Sometimes, it’s the simplest little tip or piece of information that ties everything together,” he said, adding police really hope the public calls in this sort of thing, even if it seems like no big deal at the time.
“One of the challenges is that most people don’t notice if someone has switch their plates with stolen ones, sometimes for weeks,” he said. “We’re running plates more now, with that in mind.”
He said the entire Kootenday Boundary Regional Detachment is having these issues and is aware of the issues happening in each detachment – building multi-jurisdictional co-operation.
“This isn’t a new thing – these are common crimes we deal with. It’s the frequency of them right now that is unusual. We don’t believe it’s a single individual doing this.”
Nothing daunted, he said he remains confident that police will get the ne’er-do-wells in custody.
“We have dedicated resources to tying these incidents together so we can identify suspects and bring them before the courts,” he said. “If you play with fire long enough, you’re eventually going to get burned.”