To the editor:
While most are in deep sleep, criminals on bicycles and electric scooters are stealing anything and everything they can throughout the streets of Kelowna. Your yard is being scoped out in the daylight hours by thieves, so make sure items of interest are out of sight.
While the RCMP are babysitting local drinking establishments at bar flush, criminals are taking advantage of the lack of a police presence and are stealing from every neighbourhood.
Our block watch group of volunteers patrol the streets and watch criminals moving stolen goods nightly all over Rutland. A dozen rental properties full of criminals working together in what appears to be a form of organized crime in a sense that they know the police aren’t around at certain times and know when to steal without being caught.
On any given night, the thieves come out like bats, usually after 2 a.m. where you can see dozens of criminals hauling stuff on bicycles and electric scooters throughout the Rutland area. Many of these thieves have partners with vehicles who pull up in specific places and load stolen goods without any fear.
As of late, the biggest group of stolen items is bicycles, boat motors, generators and travel trailer batteries. The bikes get used for parts or repainted and used by criminals to commit crimes.
Many SUVs, vans and trucks are being used to pick up and move stolen items.
Most of these thieves are repeat offenders who live this criminal lifestyle, and don’t care about being caught, because they keep stealing to survive or support their drug habits.
Our group of “block watchers” call the police when we see suspicious activity and thieves scoping out neighbourhoods between midnight and 5 a.m., but don’t always get any response from the RCMP as it seems that they are nowhere to be found.
Many nights we patrol the streets for hours and never see an RCMP vehicle anywhere, but see dozens of shady characters carrying or hauling what appears to be stolen goods in the wee hours of the morning.
How are we to curb crime in Kelowna if we don’t have a proactive police force patrolling our streets after dark in high crime areas?
We do our part by patrolling and documenting, it’s time that a plan was put into place to deter these criminals from stealing from everyone.
Bruce Orydzuk, Kelowna