On Thursday, Aug. 10, Port Alberni RCMP were kept busy responding to several calls of theft from vehicles as well as three theft of vehicle complaints which had occurred overnight in the Westporte and neighbouring area.
Sometime through Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, suspects targeted unlocked vehicles in the Westporte subdivision, as well as between Golden Street and Falls Street. The thieves stole a grey 2014 Toyota Rav 4 from Golden Street, a champagne coloured 2001 Land Rover Discovery from the 5400 block of Woodland Crescent and a grey Ford Focus from the 5900 block of River Road. The Ford Focus was later recovered on Mary Street while the other two vehicles remain missing. The owner of the Toyota awoke to hearing his vehicle being driven away at 5:25 a.m. but was unable to see who took it. Unfortunately with all three vehicle thefts, the keys had been left in the vehicle making them easy to steal. Six other vehicles were entered and rummaged through with various articles stolen. None of these vehicles were locked either.
An elderly Staffordshire Bull Terrier was in the Land Rover when stolen and was later dropped off in the Catalyst mill parking lot and was soon reunited with its owner.
“One thing that all these incidents have in common is that they were all crimes of opportunity,” said Cpl. Amelia Hayden of the Port Alberni RCMP. “The public are reminded to secure their vehicles by ensuring windows are up, locking all doors and removing all items from view. Don’t leave the keys or valuables in the vehicle. In one instance, the suspect took the garage door remote from the vehicle and used it to access the secured garage. Once in the garage, the suspect was able to steal other valuable items and could have potentially accessed the house, as many people don’t lock the door leading into the house.”
Anyone with information on those responsible for these thefts or who know where of the stolen vehicles are, please contact the Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424 or Alberni Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).