Violent crime down, theft from cars up

One prolific offender is responsible for most thefts from vehicle, says inspector

Violent crime in the district has dropped by 10 per cent from the previous year, according to the Mission RCMP quarterly report presented to council Monday.

There were 321 incidents of violent crime — which includes murder (there were zero), robbery, sexual assault, and abduction/kidnapping — in the district between January and June of this year, compared to 356 from the same time period in 2011.

Also down are business break-ins (59 per cent decline) and car thefts (58 per cent decline), but the overall property crime rate remained virtually identical.

Skewing the statistics are thefts from vehicles, which reached 370 incidents this year compared to just 210 last year, a rise of 76 per cent.

But Mission RCMP Insp. Richard Konarski said this is mainly attributable to a single prolific offender who has been in and out of jail.

Konarski said police caught the thief, who admitted to a crime spree of 90 thefts from vehicles in a six-week time period. But he was only sentenced to 21 days in jail, and released in two weeks. Although a curfew was imposed on him, the court did not require him to leave an address so it’s impossible for police to check up on him.

Konarski identified the burning issues for police as ongoing visible disorder in the downtown core, including persistent problem residences and theft from vehicles.

The RCMP have partnered with Mission Fire Services in recent months to attempt to shut down nuisance properties, such as the tenement housing on First Avenue recently seized through civil forfeiture for fire hazards and drug trafficking.

Konarski said at least seven houses have been seized through civil forfeiture to shut down places operated by members of organized crime.

The full RCMP quarterly report can be read in the July 16 council agenda available at www.mission.ca.