Campbell River RCMP have confirmed that arrests have been made and charges have been laid in numerous cases of Theft from Vehicle occuring in 2018 and continuing into 2019 thanks to CCTV footage collected by the public. Images courtesy Campbell River RCMP

Police make arrests in recent spike in theft from automobiles in Campbell River

Lanna Grundell, Kevin Buller and Colin Thomson have been charged after recent spate of thefts

Police are thanking the public for its assistance in bringing a recent spike in theft from vehicles to a successful conclusion – the help resulted in arrests.

During the second half of 2018 Campbell River experienced a substantial increase in reported incidents of theft from automobiles, according to the RCMP, and despite making several arrests, the increase continued into early 2019.

Throughout this period, police received Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) footage from home security systems on multiple occasions. Often this footage has been critical in making arrests related to the case.

Campbell River RCMP say Lanna Grundell, 28, of Campbell River was arrested last week and remains in custody on 17 charges. Kevin Buller, 50, also of Campbell River, remains in custody facing two related charges. A separate offender, 34-year-old Colin Thomson of no fixed address, was arrested a day earlier and is in custody facing 14 charges.

Since these arrests were made, Campbell River has not experienced any similar reported incidents of thefts from vehicles, according to a release from the RCMP.

These individuals face charges including possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen vehicle, fraudulent use of credit cards, mischief to property, trespass at night and obstruction. Many more charges are expected to be laid in the coming days.

“We encourage members of the public to report any future attempted theft from vehicles, even in the event nothing is stolen,” says Cpl. Ron Vlooswyk of the Campbell River RCMP. “The mere act of someone entering onto a private property or accessing a vehicle without permission could potentially lead to a charge of Trespass at Night or Mischief.”

Police ask that if you have CCTV footage of an incident, to report it directly and save your image footage for investigation. Doing so could ultimately prevent dozens, perhaps hundreds of additional offences from taking place and save many of your neighbours from falling victim to the same offenders. Members of the RCMP are very familiar with the local offender population and can sometimes make identifications based on distinctive items of clothing when facial features may be obscured.

“There is probably no better way of identifying who is responsible for these crimes than CCTV footage,” Vlooswyk says. “For court purposes, there is often no more compelling evidence than high resolution and night-capable CCTV footage depicting someone who is caught in the act of committing a crime. We want to thank the citizens who provided images from their CCTV cameras. They were instrumental in leading to these arrests and charges.”

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