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White Rock parkade targeted

Resident hopes others can learn from her building's latest experience with crime, when three bikes were stolen.
Security footage from an underground parkade in White Rock captures an unidentified individual.

A White Rock woman whose bike was among three stolen last month during a break-in to her building’s underground parkade isn’t holding out much hope she’ll get her wheels back.

But Jolaine Wiens is hopeful residents of other multi-family units can learn from the experience and prevent the same thing from happening to them.

“I’m hoping that if there’s other buildings who have the same sort of setup, they can double-check that you can’t reach the sensor,” Wiens said Tuesday, referring to how the culprit gained access to the lot.

“It was so simple for him to do.”

Wiens said security cameras from the March 12 break-in captured the crime, and demonstrate how the culprit was able to deactivate the gate’s sensor so that it wouldn’t close after a vehicle left.

Once that happened, he had unfettered access to the vehicles and other items kept in what was supposed to be a secure area.

While police attended, Wiens said she was told there’s nothing much they can do.

“They said that (parkades) are being targeted and that we have to work together as a strata to make sure the gate is closing behind us.”

Wiens noted that if she had been the driver who left that morning, and had noticed the gate not close, she wouldn’t have been sure what to do. And knowing what she knows now – that someone had been hiding nearby, waiting to commit the crime – admits she’d be “a little nervous” to investigate the anomaly.

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Lesli Roseberry told council last month that the incidence of underground-parkade break-ins spiked in local municipalities last year, with 23 reported in the seaside city. In response, police here have upped efforts to educate stratas on prevention strategies, and have increased “high-visibility patrols” as well as their monitoring of prolific property-crime offenders known to be in the community on court-ordered conditions.

Roseberry credited a decrease in the problem in the first quarter of 2015 to the recent arrest of a single suspect.

Wiens, whose husband is on their Winter Street building’s strata council, said much discussion of the parkade-security issue has taken place in the weeks since March 12, and she expects it to be raised at the next strata meeting. She hopes that raising awareness around the issue and the importance of taking preventative steps will help stem the problem.

As for her bike, Wiens has set an alert on Craigslist in hopes of getting the Rocky Mountain Whistler hybrid back. She described it as a graphite-black off-road bike with a white seat, shocks and a rack. It has a great deal of sentimental value, she added.

“There’s a lot of memories with that bike,” she said. “I’ve spent hours on that bike, working through health issues… when you’re stressed, it’s where I went.”

Anyone with information on the break-in may contact White Rock RCMP at 778-593-3627.


Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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