Kitimat RCMP is advising residents to lock it, or lose it, following an increase in the number of thefts out of vehicles in town.
RCMP Media Relations Officer Const. Rebekah Draht said from July 10 alone, the detachment had received reports of at least six break-ins into vehicles.
“The thieves are stealing mostly small items out of the vehicles,” said Draht. “Motorists need to make sure their doors are locked and they have removed valuables from their vehicles.”
She added that even though Kitimat is a small town and people don’t always lock their vehicles, there are opportunistic thieves who will engage in petty crime.
She said the thefts were happening both during the daytime and at night, and weren’t happening in any specific neighbourhood in Kitimat.
Keep it down
Draht said the number of noise complaints the RCMP has had to deal with in Kitimat has been on the steady increase since the weather warmed up.
“We had six noise bylaw complaints in one week alone. That is a lot, especially for Kitimat. Some were repeat offenders,” said Draht.
She said the complaints included everything from loud music, to people “standing outside yelling and screaming”.
Kitimat’s noise bylaw is a 24-hour bylaw, and breaking it can result in a $100 fine.
Bear bangers beware
Draht said another issue that has reared its head is the number of people setting off bear bangers, whether on purpose or by accident.
“We have had quite a few calls from residents who mistake the bear banger going off for gunshots,” said Draht.
She said one incident down at the river took two hours of investigation before RCMP members discovered that it was a bear banger.
“If people let off a bear banger they should phone 911 and let us know they have,” said Draht.
She appealed to anyone shooting bear bangers to make sure they know how to use them correctly.
“Don’t shoot the bear banger so that it lands behind the bear. They have been known to run away from the bang directly towards the person that fired it,” said Draht.
“Rather shoot it off so that it lands behind you.”
Bearsmart.com has a lot of helpful information, including a link to a manual by the University of Northern B.C., which states that bear bangers are best used “in open country where bears can be detected at large distances (e.g. greater than 100m), and the bear has an easy escape route”.
“Care must be taken to ensure that the banger explodes between you and the bear. This will require firing the bear banger upwards at a 45 degree angle or higher – you do not want the cartridge to explode behind the bear and have the animal run towards you.”