Break-ins on the rise in Merritt

By on October 12, 2017
Police were looking to identify this man who was caught breaking into a car at the Vibe apartment building in Diamond Valeback in October. Break-ins to vehicles have spiked in Merritt the past four months compared to the same time period last year. (Facebook photo)

Police are noticing a spike in the number of break-ins to homes, vehicles and motorhomes in Merritt as of late.

Early this morning, police were alerted to a number of vehicle break-ins at the Vibe apartment building at the corner of Clapperton Avenue and Menzies Street.

One witness took a picture of a male suspect who was wearing a teal jacket and called the RCMP, but police didn’t locate anyone when they attended the scene just before 6:00 a.m. this morning said RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore.

“We’re looking to try and identify that male,”she said.

Dunsmore went on to say that when it comes to police response time, it all depends on the number of members on duty and if they’re busy with other calls.

Police received two more calls this morning from the Vibe regarding attempted break-ins to vehicles in the building’s parking lot.

She said one woman’s car had its windshield smashed, and the lock to another vehicle was punched in.

Police currently have no suspects.

Another home was also broken into earlier this week.

Police received word last night at about 11 p.m. from a couple living on Nicola Avenue who had their garage broken into.

“The couple came home and found their gate open, their garage door open and there was a pile off items stacked inside the garage door as if somebody was coming back [to get them],” Dunsmore told the Herald.

She said a blue, vintage bicycle with a motor on it was reported stolen by the couple.

No one was around at the time the two noticed the break-in.

“They didn’t see anybody,” said Dunsmore.

The residential break-in was the second one this week. A family returned to their Parker Avenue home Sunday to a burglary in progress.

Even the Merritt Centennials have been targeted.

The team’s bus was broken into earlier this week while parked on Walnut Avenue in Collettville.

“Somebody went in [and] rifled through [it],” said Dunsmore. “We’re not sure what was taken yet, but it looks like [there was] some damage.”

Reports indicate a T.V. was stolen from the bus.

Dunsmore said there has been a noticeable rise in the number of break-ins recently.

“We saw an increase in [break-ins to] motorhomes last week, but in the last week there’s been an increase in homes that have been broken into,” said Dunsmore.

She said the break-ins have occurred all over town and urged residents to be vigilant.

The noticeable increase in break-ins to homes usually means there are a few thieves making the rounds in Merritt, she said.

Anyone with any information regarding these files is asked to contact the Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to leave an anonymous tip.

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