Delta police say increased patrols, some arrests and outreach to area businesses has helped to stem a spike in property crime on Annacis Island.
According to a DPD press release, police began seeing a “significant increase” in thefts in the area over the past summer, leading to increased patrols and business engagement.
“We put our analysts to work on the problem so we could have a comprehensive look at the stats and identify any hot spots,” DPD Staff Sgt. Darren Dunn, who is overseeing the department’s Annacis Crime Prevention Strategy, said in a press release. “Nevertheless, we knew we had a problem with a specific type of crime, so we made sure to increase our patrol resources in these areas when the crimes were occurring.”
Police say the increased patrols are paying off. On Oct. 18, officers doing proactive patrols stopped a suspicious vehicle at 2:20 a.m. on River Road. Inside, officers found four vehicles’ batteries, resulting in the arrest of two men — one for theft and possession of stolen property, and the other on a Canada-wide warrant.
More recently, at around 3 a.m. on Nov. 7, a DPD officer observed a vehicle in the Tilbury area that had previously been deemed a “vehicle of interest to police.” The driver took off at a high rate of speed before the officer could activate his lights or siren, but soon after another officer located the vehicle again on Highway 91 and, as more police came to assist, the vehicle was stopped. The driver was arrested in relation to a mail theft from Annacis Island, as well as for flight from police and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
“Prompt reporting of any suspicious activity is key for our officers so we can respond as quickly as possible,” Dunn said. “We often get asked what qualifies as suspicious activity. That might be someone lingering too long by a fence or perhaps dumpster diving in the middle of the night. [The activity] may be legitimate, but it doesn’t hurt to call us to check it out.”
In addition to the added patrols, Dunn said police reached out to about 170 businesses to discuss how to prevent these kinds of crimes, adding businesses are encouraged to take a number of additional steps to increase security, such as improving exterior lighting and adding video cameras.
“It takes a concerted effort by everyone — police, businesses, and the community at large — but we get solid results working together,” Dunn said.
A closed meeting with area businesses is currently scheduled for Nov. 28, and businesses are encouraged to join the Business Watch program. More info on the program can found through the North Delta community police office, located at 11906 80th Ave.