A blitz on preventing auto crime that’s plaguing Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has resulted in two arrests, a man and a woman.
Ridge Meadows RCMP have made preventing auto crime, both theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles, their priority after rates jumped in recent months.
RCMP say between March 30 and April 5, 41 cars were broken into in Maple Ridge and 21 in Pitt Meadows.
Matt Ellis, who lives in the Cottonwood area, has been the victim of theft from auto.
“I’ve lived here six years and never had my vehicle broken into. But this year, I’ve had both my vehicles broken into. Almost everybody on the street has.”
Ellis lost a snowboard, a snowboard jacket, back pack and old duffle bag. One of the vehicles was somehow opened, while a device was used to unlock the other one.
This March alone saw the highest monthly number of thefts from vehicles since 2008.
Friday, RCMP held an auto crime awareness event in Maple Ridge. They gave out 60 steering wheel clubs that were common several years ago before engine immobilizers became standard in newer models.
The vehicles most likely to be stolen are: 1996-2000 Honda Civic; 2000-06 Ford F-350 pickup; 1991-99 Honda Accord; 1989-93 Mazda B2200 pickup; and 1998-2006 Dodge Ram pickup.
Police tell people to ensure their cars are always locked with no valuables inside. Two-thirds of the times the vehicles were either unlocked, a window was open, or the thief got in by using a device that can unlock a vehicle’s electronic door locks.
Herbranson suggested blacking out address and driver’s licence numbers on vehicle registration that’s left in the car.
Another option is scanning the registration, reducing it in size and keeping it in your wallet.
Ridge Meadows RCMP are looking to identify and speak to the driver of car after a woman was approached in a mall parking lot last week.
At about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, the woman was walking in the parking lot of Maple Ridge Square Mall, 22441 Dewdney Trunk Road, when the driver of the car told her to get in. The woman walked away and the car – silver or grey, newer model, mid-sized, four doors – continued on its way.
The woman did everything correct, Const. Amanda Harnett said.
“She did not engage in any conversation, and after becoming alarmed, she removed herself from that area.”
Police are now asking for public assistance identifying the driver, “a darker skinned male,” 25 to 30 years old, slender, “buzzed” dark hair, and high-pitched voice.
The passenger in the car is described as a white male who appeared to be tall, with a muscular build, and dark, medium-length hair.
The car they were in had a dark-coloured interior, and a factory installed GPS/stereo unit in the centre console.
At no time did the suspect, or his passenger get out of their car or make any actual attempt to touch or grab the woman, police said.
“Police do want to speak with this person, as his actions certainly concerned the victim about her safety,” Harnett said.
• Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. England at 604-467-7692.
A 53-year-old security guard at Ridge Meadows Hospital was beaten unconscious by a patient on Good Friday.
The extent of the man’s injuries is not known, according to Ridge Meadows RCMP, who were called to the hospital at 3:15 p.m.
A second man, 68, who was also in the emergency ward and tried to intervene, was also assaulted. He was not injured, police said.
A suspect was arrested at the hospital.
The matter is now before the courts. Police have recommended charges of assault be laid, as well as one of failing to comply with probation orders.