To the Editor,
For more than 30 years I have spent summers fishing here. I’ve experienced consistently syphoned, punctured fuel tanks, stolen/broken into vehicles, fishing gear, groceries, tools. Recently while helping a stranger from Duncan haul his boat out because his truck and trailer were stolen, thieves stole our groceries and tools while we were 30 feet away!
Port Alberni thieves are absolutely the most brazen I’ve experienced during work/ travels to more than 50 countries, many of them third world.
The RCMP seem overwhelmed. When my truck was stolen I was informed “we won’t be looking for your truck.” Such attitude seldom brings faith in the system. Why then even report minor crimes? The RCMP did find my truck within 24 hours (purposely left with no fuel) and stored it in a “secure” spot only to discover the next day a thief filled up the tank and stole it again.
Seems there’s no shortage of patrol cars/boats seeking ticket revenue from non-BC plates, there doesn’t seem to be much focus on real crime. It seems out-of-province visitors have increasingly become low hanging fruit targeted by both criminals and RCMP.
I have a question for the judiciary: what’s your plan when thieves start targeting cruise ships? Perplexing questions for a town increasingly reliant upon retirement and tourism.
The residents of Port Alberni are who make us still feel welcome. They’ve helped us save our boat when the steering failed, offered to freeze our fish until we can arrange rides home, offered free parking beneath street lights, alerted us to theft in action, complete strangers offered us use of their equipment when ours needed repairs and sadly shared their similar experiences and frustrations.
They truly deserve much better.