Police Report: Victims robbed while swimming in Sechelt

Sunshine Coast RCMP reported the following for Aug. 4 to 12:

• On Aug. 6 at around 10 a.m., while the owners were out for a swim near the Sechelt waterfront pier, a suspect stole their bags, which had been left on the beach. The owners attempted to chase down the suspect and recover their bags, which contained a variety of items including cell phones. The suspect, who has been identified, was able to flee the scene on foot. Police are attempting to locate the male who is described as a slim, pale blonde-haired Caucasian male in his mid-30s. The file is still under investigation.

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Break and Enter

• Early on Aug. 4, an unknown female gained entry to an unlocked building in the 1300 block of Margaret Road, Roberts Creek, and was caught going through the contents when she was confronted by an occupant. After the female refused to immediately leave, the occupant and other people escorted her off the premises. The female was later seen hitchhiking in Wilson Creek. Nothing was stolen, but police are attempting to identify the suspect who is described as a pale-complexioned Caucasian female, about five feet seven inches tall, with shoulder length white-blonde hair. She was last seen wearing black pants and black hoody. 

• Sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Aug. 4, a suspect gained entry to an unsecured garage in the 1300 block of Park Avenue, Roberts Creek and stole a set of collector licence plates, a vintage tool kit and vehicle registration papers and manual. The suspect left behind a variety of clothing and personal belongings, and also flipped all the breakers in a nearby junction box, cutting power to the main house as well as the garage. Other evidence was collected from the scene and the file is still under investigation. Police also learned that two vehicles had been rummaged through at another property nearby, though nothing was stolen, and two bags of clothing and miscellaneous items were found around the same time period at a third residence. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact RCMP, reference police file 2019-5216.

• Overnight on Aug. 12, a suspect used a rock to break windows in order to gain entry to a business in the 13800 block of Highway 101, Pender Harbour. The suspect rummaged through the premises and staff are still trying to determine if anything was stolen. Police are reviewing security video footage and the file is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact RCMP, reference police file 2019-5377.

Scam

• On Aug. 6, a Coast resident reported falling victim to a common scam after opening his computer to find the screen had gone blue and was emitting an alarm sound while flashing a message that the computer was infected and to contact the tech support number provided immediately. The panicked resident clicked on the link and then phoned the “tech support” and was told he needed to purchase an expensive computer maintenance package to get his computer fixed. The resident followed the scammer’s instructions and used his credit card to pay for the “maintenance package.” After receiving official looking paperwork and receipts from the “tech support” company, the resident realized he’d fallen for a scam. The resident has since reported the transaction to his bank and credit card company and taken his computer to a local computer professional for servicing. To learn more about this type of popular scam, please visit sites such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org. Please share this information with your friends and family.

• On Aug. 9, a Coast resident reported falling victim to a scam after receiving a Facebook message purportedly from a friend telling her that she was eligible for government grants but in order to secure the funds, would have to pay a deposit. The resident followed the instructions she was given and sent a bank transfer for a large sum followed by a large amount of iTunes gift cards. The resident realized that the message came from a hacked account, and unfortunately, it is unlikely the funds will be recovered.

ICBC Infractions

• On Aug. 6, while conducting foot patrols in downtown Sechelt, a police officer noticed several known offenders seated in or standing by a parked vehicle. A check on the licence plates showed the plates didn’t belong to the vehicle they were attached to, and that the actual vehicle also had no valid insurance. The female in the driver’s seat was also determined to be a prohibited driver. The police officer issued the driver a violation ticket for failing to produce insurance, the invalid licence plates were seized and the vehicle was towed. The matter has been referred to ICBC.

Hit and Run

• On Aug. 6, at around 12:30 p.m., a hit and run occurred on Highway 101 near Payne Road, Gibsons, after the first southbound vehicle abruptly merged into the left lane and clipped the front right fender of a second southbound vehicle in the process. The first vehicle, described as a black truck with an extended cab, slowed down and the male driver put his hand out the window as if to indicate he was pulling over, but then sped up and fled the scene. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact RCMP, reference police file 2019-5207.

Theft

• Late on Aug. 6, a witness reported two suspects going through donation bins behind a thrift store in the 5600 block of Cowrie Street, Sechelt. Police attended and located a male and female at the bins with boxes and bags full of items taken from the bins. Both suspects, who are known to police, were arrested for theft and possession of stolen property. After the property was returned to the bins, the suspects were released on promises to appear for court. The file is still under investigation.

Found Property

• On Aug. 7, a laptop in a cloth case with multiple accessories was turned in to RCMP. The laptop, which has foreign lettering on the keys, may be claimed within 90 days by owner with detailed description. Please reference police file 2019-5232.

• On Aug. 7, a backpack was found outside the Sunshine Coast Detachment office in Sechelt. It contained a variety of personal belongings including a cell phone. Owner may claim within 90 days with detailed description. Please reference police file 2019-5244.

• On Aug. 12, an adult bike was found in the 6200 block of Sechelt Inlet Road. Owner may claim with detailed description within 90 days. Please reference police file number 2019-5382.

Mail Theft

• Sometime between Aug. 2 and 7, a suspect pried open banks of community Canada Post mailboxes located near Chamberlin Road and North Road, Gibsons and Lower Road and Geddes Road, Roberts Creek. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact RCMP, reference police file 2019-5217.

Theft from Vehicles

• Sometime between July 28 and Aug. 7, suspects gained entry into a number of vehicles and storage units by using a pry bar or breaking off locks at a property in the 5600 block of Garden Bay Road. The suspects stole a number of items including water skis, life jackets, a laptop computer, toolbox, inflatable floating island, household and toiletry items, and crystals. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact RCMP, reference police file 2019-5252. 

Impaired Driving

• On Aug. 8, police witnessed a vehicle being driven well under the posted speed limit and swerving in its lane while southbound on Highway 101, near Roberts Creek Road. Police initiated a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, who was exhibiting signs of possible intoxication from alcohol. The driver was given and failed a roadside alcohol screening test and was issued a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. The driver’s vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

– Const. Karen Whitby, Sunshine Coast RCMP

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