Big uptick in Kelowna property crimes

Kelowna Mounties experienced a frustrating first month of the year with a 24 per cent increase in property related files compared to the same period last year.

Const. Kris Clark said increases were seen in every area except for auto theft.

Break and Enter's to businesses rose by 20 per cent, to 48  this January from 40 in January 2013.

B&Es to residences rose 74 per cent, to 47 in 2014, from 27 in the previous period.

There was a 12 per cent drop in vehicle thefts, of which there were 22 in 2014 compared to 25 in 2013.

Thefts from vehicles jumped significantly, with 138 reported incidences this January, compared to the previous.

The most substantial increase to crimes, however, was bike thefts rose 433 per cent to 16 this January, compared to

Clark said this was likely due to relatively warmer weather, but of biggest concern for police is that approximately 90 per cent of the bikes stolen were unsecured.

"With that in mind, January was the poster month for 'lock it or lose it' in the Okanagan as thefts from vehicles were also in that category, especially in West Kelowna and Lake Country where an estimated 90-100 per cent were from unlocked vehicles," he said.

Also driving up stats were thefts of coins from coin-operated laundry machines and break ins to underground parking or storage units.

"Police are hoping to see the numbers return to the mean for February though as 11 prolific offenders, including several believed responsible for the January increases, were taken into custody in the past two weeks," he said.

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