Too many crime victims fail to report when vehicles are broken into, and it makes it harder for police to catch the crooks.
Nanaimo RCMP issued a statement urging property owners to take a more active approach by reporting break-ins immediately, so police can take measures to stop the perpetrators.
Nanaimo has seen a surge of break-ins since August, and if more people reported the incidents right away, police have a better chance of preventing more thefts. The recent spate of break-ins have happened in clusters, information that would quickly show up in a crime mapping program but without accurate data, investigators are ill-prepared to identify specific problems.
"You know the saying, 'garbage in, garbage out,'" said Const. Gary O'Brien, a phrase used by data processors.
Nanaimo RCMP have had access to new crimemapping software that can quickly pinpoint problem areas, to better allocate resources for about three years now, but in order for the program to work, victims have to report crimes. Too often, that doesn't happen.
"They think they're being a nuisance," O'Brien said. "It's frustrating, for the fact that we put a lot of resources into it and at the end of the day, we may not get a charge. We have the technology now to track movements of criminals and without the information, we're not getting anything."
Reporting a break-in takes about five minutes.
The RCMP dispatcher will want your name and vehicle description, what was taken, a suspect's description, if available and whether the owner has gone into the vehicle.
"Then we can effectively use our resources," O'Brien said.
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