Cpl. Chris Newel, Acting NCO of the Kimberley RCMP Detachment, attended City Council on Monday evening to deliver the second quarter policing report, but what he really wanted to talk to Council about was the rash of thefts this year.
Newel had some good news about that, telling Council that some recent arrests should see a stop to a lot of that activity.
Newel said that in the past two months there had been theft in Kimberley and area like he had never seen before – thefts from vehicles, thefts of bikes and recreational vehicles, thefts of vehicles.
“It’s caused a huge amount of concern,” he said. “So many things were happening, we had quite a few people on our radar.”
Newel said that with the level of thefts varying — from tossing a vehicle to take $5 to stealing a vehicle from a car dealer — there were bound to be different individuals involved in the thefts.
“People who rifle cars are not the same guy who steals a car from a dealer and dumps it at a golf course,” he said.
He said a recent arrest in Rossland, in which the individual got 15 months for theft, turned out to be someone on Kimberley RCMP radar.
“There was also another individual living in Townsite in a tent. We got him on a multitude of charges. There was also an individual who stole a car from Kimberley and was caught in Kamloops. We haven’t seen him since he disappeared.
“We have three subjects before the courts on minor charges. One was released on strict conditions. In fact I will be knocking on his door in about two hours to make sure he is home.”
There was also an arrest made of the individual who stole recreational vehicles in Lumberton over the weekend.
“He was a major player in a lot of this stuff,” Newel said.
With all these arrests, Newel says the playing field has considerable narrowed.
“We should have a slow down,” he said. “This quarter is always the busiest, but this year we had more calls as of August 20 then we did in all of August last year. We’ve had a real struggle with manpower. We’ve had a shortage and when you come in in the morning and there have been five B and E’s over night, there’s your paperwork for the day.”