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Property crime on the rise, says Mission RCMP

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Property crime in Mission is rising, according to the RCMP's third quarter statistics, but the types of property being hit is both positive and negative.

Categories that have had a decrease in crime from January to September from 2011 to 2012 are business break-ins (-57 per cent), theft over $5,000 (-55 per cent), theft of motor vehicle (-44 per cent), and stolen property (-14 per cent).

The largest spike was in theft from vehicles at 63 per cent. From January to September in 2011, there were 322 reported cases, and there were 524 during the same time period in 2012.

Other increases were residential break-ins (25 per cent), other break-ins (26 per cent), and theft under $5,000 (17 per cent).

RCMP Insp. Richard Konarski says police are frustrated, and at the end of the year, departments in the Lower Mainland are supposed to have dropped five per cent in property crime, but Mission is going to opposite direction.

The high number of thefts can't be attributed to a single source, said Konarski, relaying information from Mission's crime analyst that it's simply a lot of people doing a lot of low-end thefts.

This generally means thieves are flipping the stolen goods for drugs, said the inspector, who is encouraging residents to be vigilant around their neighbourhoods and call if they see anything out of the ordinary.

The next step is to identify any frequent offenders who could be contributing to the problem, he said.

One of the most common items stolen out of a vehicle is a woman's purse, said Konarski. Even if you are leaving your car for a minute, take your purse with you.

The inspector has also seen packs with laptops left in vehicles and other valuables.

"It's easy to smash a window and take it," he said.

Police will be increasing their presence in the community, and residents can also protect their belongings by securing valuable items and making sure they are out of sight.

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