The Cobourg Police Service held a press conference on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 regarding the ongoing issue of vehicle entries occurring in town.
Cobourg Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf, and Constable Danielle McKeen spoke about the ongoing investigation that has so far lead to the arrest and charges of six suspects.
Since October 2021, Cobourg Police Service (CPS) has received 53 reports of theft from vehicles in Cobourg. In ten of the reported theft from vehicles, a car window was smashed to gain access to the vehicle, and in the other cases, suspects gained entry through an unlocked door. In all occurrences, personal property was taken from the vehicle.
Members of the police service have checked over 1,100 vehicles as part of the Lock-It or Lose-It campaign.
VandeGraaf said although police have had over 50 reports of entries, “we know that that’s the tip of the iceberg.”
McKeen highlighted areas of Cobourg that have been targeted mostly in residential neighbourhoods after dark.
The most common items taken from the vehicles were money, wallets and electronic devices.
Six people are charged with various offences totaling 33 charges.
McKeen encourages people to leave valuable items out of sight, always lock your vehicle, lock shed doors and close overhead/garage doors.
VandeGraaf reiterated that leaving valuables in sight and doors unlocked, “make your vehicle a prime target.”
Police have received numerous videos showing people checking vehicle doors, then finding they are locked leaving.
Some of the suspects were apprehended through the use of stolen credit and debit cards.
Not saying specifically what is the root cause of the vehicle entries, VandeGraaf said, “our social disorders that exist in our community are definitely drivers to this.”
VandeGraaf said a number of the suspects are well known to police.
“It’s the same people, time and time and time again. We really need a full and wholesome approach that starts with the courts to hold people accountable and follows right down to rehabilitation.”
Police strongly advise if you’re a victim of theft from a motor vehicle or any crime, file a report immediately.
“Community safety is our shared responsibility and the cooperation that you provide the police greatly helps us,” said VandeGraaf.