Osoyoos, Oliver see crime increase, says RCMP Superintendent’s quarterly report

By on March 6, 2018

A quarterly report from the RCMP shows that violent crime and property offences in Oliver and Osoyoos have increased over last year.

Regional Superintendent Ted de Jager presented his quarterly report (October-December 2017) to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen on Thursday.

He said property crime continues to hit smaller communities quite hard, noting the region saw an eight per cent increase over 2016.

“While this is not as high as expected in some quarters, due to targeting of prolific offenders and support of social chronic offenders, it is still in the wrong direction,” de Jager said.

The superintendent said the biggest single property crime type over the last quarter was theft from vehicles, the majority of which were unlocked with valuables clearly visible.

Despite the increase in property crime, targeted efforts against higher-level criminals and prolific offenders have led to a regional reduction (six per cent) of violent crime, he pointed out.

But in Osoyoos, violent crime is up 26 per cent compared to 2016. De Jager said significant increases in smaller communities might be due to a relatively low comparator. For example, a 500 per cent increase is due to a particular file type rising from one to five, usually due to one prolific offender committing a rash of that crime.

The report shows that domestic violence in Osoyoos is up 25 per cent, while property crime is up 22 per cent compared to 2016.

Residential break and enters and theft from vehicles in Osoyoos also saw significant increases.

In neighbouring Oliver, violent crime is up nearly 15 per cent, while property crime is up nearly 20 per cent. Domestic violence is down nearly 35 per cent compared to 2016.

Auto theft and residential break-ins also saw increases.

De Jager said simply locking vehicle doors and using anti-theft devices such as ignition immobilizers allow the public to be part of the solution in reducing crime.

In late December a group of prolific criminals targeted Ford F-250/350 trucks that were used in a rash of break-ins at wineries. De Jager said most of these vehicles did not have passive ignition immobilizers. He noted that RCMP eventually tracked the offenders down.

In November, Osoyoos RCMP responded to a residential break-in on 2nd Avenue. The investigation led police to a hotel room where a large amount of stolen items was seized. A firearm was also seized from the room, de Jager said. As a result, a 21-year-old male Osoyoos resident was charged.

In Oliver, one prolific property offender faced 13 charges including theft, possession of stolen property, fraud and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

“His crime spree single handedly contributed to the rise in property crime in Oliver,” de Jager said.

Another prolific offender in Oliver was arrested after committing two residential break-ins.

“He was located hiding in an outhouse and refused to exit until strongly encouraged by police service dog Harro,” de Jager said.

On Oct. 31, Osoyoos RCMP converged on a house on Alden Road in the Mount Baldy area to arrest a male wanted on five outstanding warrants. During the arrest, officers found the home was primarily used to house an illegal marijuana grow operation, which was subsequently dismantled. De Jager said police seized numerous stolen items including ATVs and firearms.

The superintendent noted that police undertook three investigations into child pornography last quarter.

He also cited two stabbing incidents at the Okanagan Correctional Centre. The accused was previously implicated in the shooting of an Oliver resident in April of 2017.

De Jager said one student from Southern Okanagan Secondary School was seeking attention by making online threats to “shoot up the school.” The student was arrested and put on conditions following the development of a safety plan with the school. De Jager said charges were not pursued because the student was dealt with closely by police and school staff.

Police helped one woman in Okanagan Falls who threatened to harm herself with a firearm that she was loading.

De Jager said the residence was beside a school, necessitating the need to place it in a “secure and hold” position.

“The members took their time and exhausted all means to communicate with the female until their only option was to breach the door and conduct a search.”

Police located the female safe in her apartment with another male.

De Jager used the title “dirty cops” to praise two members of the Osoyoos RCMP.

He said a tractor-trailer unit became stuck on Anarchist Mountain hill, which caused havoc for traffic.

He noted the members went into overdrive and assisted the trucker by installing his tire chains for him. While they got traffic moving again quickly, the officers’ hands and uniforms didn’t fare very well, de Jager said.

The superintendent also praised a member of Osoyoos Victim Services for doing an amazing job.

“She dealt with a number of high risk files over the last few months with dedication and caring.”

De Jager mentioned that the wife of a retired RCMP member attended a detachment and advised that her husband had hours to live. She asked if it would be possible for a member to attend the hospital to visit him. A member did visit the dying man, who passed away a short time later.

“The compassion shown to the deceased was very much appreciated by his family,” de Jager pointed out.


Special to the Times


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *