Tofino and Ahousaht RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Todd Pebernat.

Theft on the rise in Tofino

“The majority of our thefts and break and enters to businesses are occurring over summer.”

The Tofino RCMP has been experiencing a busy 2017. Year-to-date police have responded to 2349 calls for service, an increase of about 16 per cent over last year.

According to Tofino and Ahousaht detachment commander Sgt. Todd Pebernat, the detachment had 69 calls reporting theft, up from 49 reports of thefts over the same period last year.

They had 32 reports of Break and Enters (businesses and residential), up from 23 over the same period last year.

One third of the property thefts occurred in the downtown area of Tofino, between Lone Cone Road and First Street.

“The majority of our thefts and break and enters to businesses are occurring over summer. Over half are occurring in a two month period,” said Sgt. Pebernat.

“That, I think, is just because you have such an influx of tourists and seasonal workers.”

Pebernat got the sense that people from outside the community were committing the majority of those property offences.

“I should clarify that I can validate that with hard evidence because, in a lot of cases, some of the challenges we are having with the Tofino RCMP is identifying suspects in those cases,” he said, adding that at most detachments, police are generally in-tune to who the regular ‘players’ are.

“In Tofino, because I don’t think it’s the locals for the most part, it’s harder to know who the people are that are committing these offences.”

Installing video surveillance, proper locks, an alarm system, and good lighting were all listed as ways to prevent break and enters.

“A simple one is lighting. Having a well-lit business outside your business where your doors are is really helpful. It’s really simple, but it really does make a difference. Generally speaking, the bad guys don’t like the light. They like to remain in the dark,” Sgt. Pebernat said.

Good customer service was also listed as a theft deterrent.

“This actually makes a big difference. When you make eye contact with a customer, you’ve basically said, ‘I know who you are’. So if someone is coming in to steal from you they are probably going to think twice if you acknowledged them,” he said. Another interesting statistic Sgt. Pebernat made note of was the increase in mental health files. Year-to-date, there have been 82 mental health related complaints, up from 30 over the same period last year. These types of investigations could include Warrant for Apprehension under the Mental Health Act or a report of someone threatening to harm themselves.

Just Posted

Ucluelet’s Edge-to-Edge Marathon turns 20 this weekend

Over 400 runners get set for half-marathon or 10K distances.

WATCH: Tofino byelection candidates respond to community concerns at forum

Tofino will vote in a municipal byelection on Nov. 2.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

Tofino byelection candidates explain why they’re running

Town to vote on Nov. 2 to fill council seat left vacant by tragic death of Coun. Dorothy Baert

West Coast becoming a vibrant bike community

“This area has everything and more to offer for riding enthusiasts of all diverse ages.”

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read