Thieves step up residential robberies in Oak Bay

Investigators sharing information on burglaries with Victoria and regional crime unit

A string of break-ins in several Oak Bay neighbourhoods over the past three weeks has Oak Bay police paying very close attention.

“Of course (we’re concerned), but I wouldn’t say worried,” said Deputy Chief Kent Thom.

“We’re concentrating all of our efforts in locating these people that are responsible, and although we’re experiencing a bit of a rash (of break-and-enters) in Oak Bay right now, it’s by no means out of control.”

Officers are watching south Oak Bay, as well as the Oak Bay-Victoria boundary along Foul Bay Road.

“Victoria is experiencing the same thing on its eastern boundary,” said Thom, adding that thieves will target areas where they’ve gotten away with previous crimes.

Information is being shared with the Greater Victoria Regional Crime Unit and Victoria Police Department.

Oak Bay police have narrowed down their list of suspects to about a dozen people, though it’s likely that one or two people, who may be trying to feed a drug habit, Thom said, are targeting residences in broad daylight when many people are at work.

“These people have done this in the past … they’re out of jail right now trying to support a habit and they’ll just keep going until they get caught.”

Last week a camera was taken from a patron’s backpack at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre. Police are examining surveillance photos taken of a suspect.

A suspect was caught and stolen items returned after a home in the 600-block of Victoria Ave. was robbed Dec. 6. The case is being referred to the municipality’s restorative justice program for possible mediation.

The same day, electronics were stolen from homes in the 100-block of Beach Dr. and on Kinross Street. Electronics were also lifted from a home in the 700-block of Island Rd. on Dec. 7.

And police responded to a complaint Sunday morning of a man possibly trying to retrieve a key from a real estate lock box at a home in the 2400-block of Beach Dr. Police report that the man, who is well-known to them, said he was only looking at the box.

Also on Sunday, laundry machines at an Elgin Road apartment complex were targeted and about $25 in coins was taken. Investigators say the machines suffered about $1,000 in damage during the robbery.

emccracken@vicnews.com