By Steve Hubrecht
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Columbia Valley RCMP detachment commander Sergeant Darren Kakuno has a simple solution for residents to reduce the occasional but persistent incidences of petty theft that occur in the valley: lock your car at night.

Kakuno underscored this advice during the RCMP’s quarterly report to the Invermere council, during the Tuesday, Oct. 13 council meeting. Kakuno related to council a conversation he’d had with an out-of-town youth who had been caught fleeing a stolen vehicle in the Columbia Valley.

“I asked him why he came to the Columbia Valley,” said Kakuno. “He was quite forthcoming. He told me, ‘people here just don’t lock their vehicles’. He said, ‘everybody locks their doors in Calgary, but nobody does here’… he explained that they (the youth and some friends) simply walk down the street, trying vehicle door handles and door latches, and if they are open, then they carry on (with theft).”

Kakuno also told council how the RCMP was able to do more boat patrols this year — 28 in total — than ever before, in part because community and special events cancelled this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic had freed up RCMP detachment members to be able to get out on the lake.

“It would be nice to get patrols out on the lake that much every year,” he said.