RCMP confirm vehicle theft has been increasing since 2017

More vehicles being stolen

Vehicle theft has been increasing in Kelowna since 2017, but RCMP say the reasoning behind it cannot currently be explained.

In 2017, there were 313 vehicle thefts, and so far in 2019, there have already been 411.

"Rationale for the increase cannot currently be explained," said Cpl. Megan Foster with the Kelowna RCMP. "With the manufacturing of new vehicles that are equipped with anti-theft devices, it makes it quite difficult for them to be stolen."

However, the main reasons newer vehicles are still stolen is because owners leave the car keys accessible or the vehicle is left running while unoccupied. 

For older vehicles, police suggest owners leave them in well-lit areas with high levels of pedestrian traffic.

Paul Saulnier reached out to Castanet after his 1982 white Jeep CJ5 was stolen on Oct. 23, from a Kelowna golf course.

"It's a heartbreaking thing, I worked really hard to get it, it's unique, it's the one that I've always wanted," said Saulnier.

Saulnier was able to retrieve video footage revealing what appears to be two men in a white panel van stealing the Jeep.

He doesn't know how the men managed to start the vehicle because the keys were not in the Jeep at the time.

The video shows the white panel van leaving the area with Saulnier's Jeep following closely behind it.

Because there is no roof or doors on the Jeep, Saulnier hopes someone managed to witness the incident or the aftermath of whoever was driving the vehicle.

"Somebody would've had to see that Jeep with one frozen guy driving around in it somewhere in town so I just hope someone can come forward and help me out cause I really want it back," said Saulnier.

The Jeep also has brand-new leather seats and a chrome grill and bumper.

"As far as being unique, you're not going to see anything like that style around so if you see it, that's going to be mine."

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