Auto theft stats reflect decline in theft numbers

With the arrest of two people in a bait car over the weekend, RCMP say their efforts to combat auto crime are continuing to have an impact on local theft numbers.

“At one time, auto theft was a very serious issue in our community,” said Const. Steve Holmes.

Through partnerships with IMPACT (Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team), the use of bait cars and a local police team targeting prolific offenders, Holmes said, “We’ve been able to reduce these numbers drastically.”

In 2006, the first year of the bait car program in Kelowna, there were 927 vehicle thefts. That number dropped to 605 thefts locally last year, RCMP statistics show.

“The bait car program continues to be a very useful and successful tool in the reduction of auto thefts in our community,” said Holmes.

The latest arrest as a result of a bait car happened on Sunday evening.

Around 6:40 p.m., RCMP received confirmation that a bait car had been stolen from the downtown core.

Some 15 minutes later, RCMP officers stopped the vehicle and arrested two Kelowna residents—a 35-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman.

Court records indicate a charge of theft of a motor vehicle has been laid against 35-year-old Christian Joseph Denis Cote.

He was released from custody on Monday and was expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon. Results of that court appearance were not known at press deadline.


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