Kamloops Mounties say there is not a gang of high-tech burglars at work in the city cloning garage door remotes to break into homes, despite a post making the rounds in local Facebook groups claiming otherwise.
On Thursday morning, a Facebook user penned a post in an Aberdeen neighbourhood group claiming to have been targeted by the gang. The woman said her vehicle was broken into in the Aberdeen Mall parking lot, and the crooks cloned her garage door opener and then went to her house, where neighbours scared them off.
“There is a gang of criminals in town right now in two vans,” the post reads, implying the information came from or had been verified by police.
“One is white and the other is a black Dodge Caravan with Alberta plates. They are going around breaking into cars in mall parking lots using a cloning device on your clicker.”
The post was shared many times on a number of different groups and, by Thursday evening, had garnered hundreds of shares and comments between a number of online groups. Some versions of the post claim to have been "verified."
The problem, according to police, is that it’s not accurate.
Castanet Kamloops asked Mounties if they could confirm the incident, and RCMP Const. Crystal Evelyn said it was only partly true.
Evelyn said Mounties did receive a report of a vehicle break-in at Aberdeen Mall late Wednesday afternoon, and that a garage door opener was among the items stolen.
“When the vehicle’s owner returned home, they received information from a neighbour that a man in a black Caravan with Alberta plates had been at their house and was banging on their door,” Evelyn said.
“The man had not tried to open the garage door or any other door. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest the man at the house was related to the theft from motor vehicle, which is still under investigation.”
Evelyn said Mounties do not have any evidence that a “cloning” device is being used on garage door openers or that a gang of burglars like the one described in the post is at work in the city.