The parking lot at Willows Beach Park, like many across the region, is still closed to the public. (@OakBayPolice/Twitter)

The parking lot at Willows Beach Park, like many across the region, is still closed to the public. (@OakBayPolice/Twitter)

Visitors to Willows Beach violate parking rules

Busy beach part of busy week for Oak Bay police

With an uptick in Willows Beach visitors, and the Esplanade and Willows Park parking lot both closed to vehicles, Oak Bay Police received several calls about improperly parked cars on the streets near Willows Beach.

“These streets include Beach Drive, Dalhousie Road and Estevan Avenue,” Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties said. “Police and the Commissionaires are aware of this issue and ask motorists to be considerate parking along these streets. Respect the no-parking signs, don’t park along the yellow curb, and don’t block residential driveways.”

Mayor Kevin Murdoch said that overall people using the beaches and parks were observed as keeping their physical distancing as both police and the new COVID-19 Ambassadors were on hand.

“It was busy, for sure,” Murdoch said. “Traffic and parking caused a number of issues which we are working to address through a mix of education and enforcement, and possibly some changes to parking, and we continue to encourage people to listen to the provincial guidelines and travel as little as possible.”

Last week was also marked by a pair of thefts including a package that was reported stolen from a front porch on May 3.

These were among the 95 calls for service Oak Bay police responded to from May 2 to 10.

READ MORE: Oak Bay closes parking along Willows Beach

“An Oak Bay Police member was conducting patrol in the 900-block of Oliver Street when they were approached by a citizen to report that they had had a package stolen from their porch,” Bernoties said. “Unfortunately, there was no suspect information to investigate.”

Tips to prevent the loss of delivered packages include keeping track of packages online, get an estimate of when that item will show up and arrange to either be at home or have a friend or neighbour pick it up or give instructions to the delivery service to place packages in a more discreet area, said Oak Bay Police.

Another theft was reported on the same day, a mountain bike from the 2100-block of Esplanade.

“The homeowner reported that a mountain bike had been stolen out of their garage,” Bernoties said.

Police had also received a suspicious report of a man who used a flashlight to look into an excavator parked in the 2400-block of Windsor Avenue. Police attended but were unable to locate the man and no damage or theft was reported.

The ongoing trends of thefts from vehicles and a marine-related theft also occurred.

READ ALSO: Businesses look to fully reopen along Oak Bay Avenue

Five thefts from vehicles were reported and the “vehicles appeared to have been unlocked,” Bernoties said. Cash, sunglasses, spare change, shoes and a wallet are all reported stolen from thefts in the following locations, 1000-block of Foul Bay Road, 2100-block of Epworth Street, 2000-block of Milton Road, 2000-block of Crescent Road, and the 1100-block of Beach Drive.

On May 9, police received a report of theft from the 3400-block of Ripon Road that a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) was stolen. The white RHIB was equipped with an outboard motor and other equipment.

If you have information regarding these or any crime, phone the Oak Bay Police Department at 250-592-2424 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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