Mission sees rise in business break-ins

Overall violent and property crime down in Mission during last quarter.

Insp. Richard Konarski

Although overall violent and property crime have dropped significantly in Mission, there are specific areas of concern.

Insp. Richard Konarski presented the Mission RCMP’s quarterly report on policing to district council Jan. 20.

There were 16 robberies in 2013, compared with 28 in 2012. There were also fewer overall assaults. Mission had one homicide last year, the same number as in 2012. Mission ranks fourth best in the Lower Mainland for low property crime, according to Konarski.

While overall property crime declined, there was a sharp increase in business breaking and entering, from 48 incidents in 2012 to 76 last year. There was a near doubling of theft of over $5,000, from 13 incidents in 2012 to 25 incidents in 2013.

“That could largely be seen as a direct outcrop of commodity prices for copper. Whenever copper prices go up, it becomes a commodity that is convertible to easy cash and it becomes a struggle,” said Konarski.

Stolen property rose by 24 per cent, which Konarski said “is a good number because it means we’re catching people with stolen merchandise and pursuing charges.”

At the same time, residential B&E is sharply down, from 227 cases in 2012 to 131 in 2013. Thefts of under $5,000 are up 7.5 per cent.

Theft from vehicles has declined 26 per cent and remains the most common crime in Mission. Theft of vehicles is up slightly.

Priorities for the Mission RCMP detachment include violent crime, marijuana grow-ops, and shots fired.

“We’re doing very good in those areas,” said Konarski. “There was a band of people in the Lower Mainland that wanted to exploit opportunities to go into both illicit and medicinal grow operations, and because of some aggressive paroling by our officers in identifying these people, and in turn sharing that information, we’ve had some success with some of our partner agencies in taking them out of the picture.”

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