Thieves have a hankering for recreational vehicles in the Central Okanagan.
On the Central Okanagan Crime Stopper’s website, 60 motorbikes, 40 ATVs, 18 ski-doos, nine RVs and 13 boats have been stolen since 2014.
Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, with the Kelowna RCMP, said these thefts are often crimes of opportunity.
With the warmer weather, there will often be an increase in thefts as people are more likely to leave motorbikes and ATVs outside. In the winter months, people are more likely to keep their vehicles locked inside, he said.
ATVs and motorbikes are also easier to load into a vehicle than to steal a vehicle, he said.
However, over the past five years, the RCMP has seen a decrease in motorbike thefts, which also includes dirt bikes, he said.
In the 2016-2017, there were 72 reported thefts of motorbikes, while 2017-2018 saw 62 motorcycle thefts, O’Donaghey said. These numbers are rough estimations.
It depends on the activity in the area, he said. Prolific offenders who were in jail, but then released from custody can cause theft numbers to spike.
O’Donaghey said prevention is the best step to ensuring vehicles are keep safe. If a recreational vehicle is on a trailer, it makes it easier for thieves to simply pull up and attach the trailer to a vehicle.
“Sometimes, it’s just as simple as putting them inside and ensuring they’re secure,” he said.