Barb Fassnacht

Smithers RCMP increases Main Street patrols after rash of break-ins

Smithers RCMP has permanently ramped up its patrols of the Main Street area after seven break-ins overnight on Sunday.

Smithers RCMP has permanently ramped up its patrols of the Main Street area amid calls for increased security after seven downtown businesses were broken into overnight on Sunday.

Forensics officers from Terrace were in Smithers yesterday looking for evidence in seven thefts and two attempts to break in to local businesses between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Police believe the crimes were committed by a transient male looking for cash. They have identified a suspect and sent a bulletin to other detachments in an effort to find him.

Smithers RCMP Staff Sergeant Rob Mitchell said the man is also a suspect in a series of similar break-ins in Prince Rupert.

“We suspect that the individual that is responsible for them is a transient male that’s known to stay in shelters and move from town to town,” said Mitchell.

The crime spree has left local merchants shaken and asking for a stronger police presence in the area.

Michelle Blackett’s business New Age Insights was among those broken into on Sunday night.

She called for police to increase patrols in the area around Main Street, where her shop is located in the Smithers Plaza.

“We just need more patrols by the police department I think, in the early hours of the morning,” said Blackett.

“The police need to have more of a presence, this is something that’s been going on for years.”

Kitchen Works was also targeted but the thief was unable to make it inside.

Owner Ron Robichaud said it was the third time thieves had tried but failed to break in to his business in the two years he has owned it.

He said he considered that number to be too high for the size of the community and echoed Blackett’s calls for a stronger police presence at night.

“It’s our core of our community which should be protected,” said Robichaud.

“The vandals basically targeted a concentrated area of businesses and they were able to go to nine businesses with not much difficulty or not being apprehended or even being deterred after the first or second or third.”

He said there should be more police patrols and possibly security cameras installed to deter criminals.

Robichaud plans to talk to other merchants about measures to prevent more break-ins in the future.

Barb Fassnacht has been running Barb’s Bodacious Boutique on Main Street for four-and-a-half years.

She said the thief must have been looking for cash because they did not damage any of her stock.

“This is the first time and I’m just grateful they didn’t trash the whole place,” she said.

Fassnacht agreed with the other merchants there should be more police patrols.

Smithers RCMP Staff Sergeant Rob Mitchell said his detachment had always conducted periodic patrols of the area but it had increased them permanently after this week’s crimes.

“We have already implemented a policy of more regular, more frequent patrols, which were already underway but we have ramped them up in light of the most recent rash of break and enters,” he said.

“Some business owners for obvious reasons have expressed concerns.”

 

Just Posted

Freedom of information campaign on ICBC rates started

Former Telkwa mayor Darcy Repen is recruiting people to get ICBC info for each postal code.

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: The framework for reconciliation

Guest View from writers involved in the United Nations declaration.

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

Homicide police investigate assault turned deadly in Surrey

60-year-old man died at hospital after assault

Most Read