Theft of moored boats in Cadboro Bay and in the Royal Victoria Yacht Club marina (pictured) have been raided for goods throughout 2019, said Oak Bay Police. (Black Press File Photo)

Oak Bay police monitor known offender in Caddy Bay

Police used citizen boat to recover goods

A prolific offender suspected of property theft has moved into the waters of Cadboro Bay and is known to the Oak Bay Police Department.

The first male is one of two prolific property crime offenders “plaguing” the area of Royal Victoria Yacht Club and the Uplands neighbourhood. One is a male who has a boat and who has a history of offences. However, Oak Bay Police have also profiled a second, likely unrelated male, that regularly enters Oak Bay and the Uplands by bike under the darkness of night and is believed to be responsible for multiple thefts.

Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties said they are taking whatever measures they can to make sure the sea-based offender is not committing crimes.

“That [person] moves along the water looking for opportunities,” Bernoties said. “We can’t pin every single property crime along the shore on him. But we are monitoring and we work closely with the RCMP and Oak Bay Search and Rescue.”

There’s also been property crime in that area on land as well as the water, Bernoties said.

READ MORE: Oak Bay Police nab man with a mask, backpack of tools

“I’m not sure if it is a spike in crime, but it’s been around several months.”

Caddy Bay has traditionally had a small live-aboard community who choose the lifestyle but the offender is one of the newer arrivals.

To help combat the crime, Oak Bay police assigned a liaison officer to the area. Despite multiple interactions and police suspicion, the offender remains at large.

“Crimes committed from the water can have additional challenges attached to them,” Bernoties said.

One thing people don’t understand is the condition of the property, which can change hands a lot by the time police confiscate it, Bernoties said. Marine equipment also tends to be expensive.

“Some people aren’t necessarily pleased when they find out [there are no charges],” Bernoties said. “They get their property back and want charges but that’s the nature we face in our court system and this society. We have to work with the parameters of the law.”

Another challenge is access to the ocean. Oak Bay police managed to recover multiple items removed from boats in Cadboro Bay and return them to owners. This comes despite not having their own boat. (The Victoria Police did have two boats but decommissioned them in 2015.)

This fall two expensive dinghies went missing. One belonged to Royal Victoria Yacht Club and was recovered by the RCMP South Island Marine Unit.

Last week Oak Bay police officers hopped on a motorboat at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and recovered a missing dinghy as well. If needed, Oak Bay Police will ride as passengers on a citizen’s boat and let them drive, Bernoties said.

READ ALSO: American boat strikes reef, sinks near Oak Bay

As for the night time suspect, the deputy chief said people are seen regularly cruising Oak Bay by bike. They check door handles, especially one person in particular, who police have profiled but have yet to encounter and identify.

This person is “opportunistic,” focusing mostly on unlocked cars and other unlocked valuables and hits Uplands and surrounding area.

If you see someone with missing property, call the police for assistance, Bernoties said.

“I wouldn’t encourage anyone to take on a property thief on their own. If it’s marine-related you can call us, and we might need assistance [with a boat]. What we’re finding in these cases is the perpetrators don’t want conflict with human beings. But generally, don’t approach them.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood eyes upgrades to recreation area near Lookout Lake Dam

Upgrades to dam estimated to be complete before end of year

Victoria society purchases addiction recovery home after year of fundraising

Umbrella Society’s Foundation House is a second stage house for men in active recovery

Eight people arrested on Pandora after enforcement order issued

Those living in homeless camps were given until May 20 to move indoors

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read