Kelowna RCMP investigates mischief to fire department lockboxes
2022-03-24 11:54 PDT
File # 2022-12138
The Kelowna RCMP is investigating mischief to fire department lockboxes on the exterior of residential properties in Kelowna.
On March 10, 2022, the Kelowna Fire Department contacted the Kelowna RCMP and reported that since February of this year, they had received reports from property managers that fire lockboxes had been damaged and in some cases, keys and fobs had been stolen from the lockboxes. These fire lockboxes are mounted on the exterior of buildings and the keys inside allow the fire department entry and access in case of emergencies.
After receiving this report from the Kelowna Fire Department, the Kelowna RCMP began an investigation into these incidents. The fire department has received reports of 16 separate incidents in which fire lockboxes were tampered with. Of the 16 incidents, nine were incidents of mischief with damage caused to lockboxes and seven resulted in thefts of keys stolen from the lockboxes. These incidents have occurred to buildings in the areas of Rutland, Springfield, and Quail Ridge.
The fire lockboxes are not owned by the fire department, they are owned by the buildings, states Paul Johnson, Fire Prevention Officer for the Kelowna Fire Department. The Kelowna Fire Department in partnership with the Kelowna RCMP, is sending a letter to property owners of buildings, advising that specific lockboxes have been subject to damage. The letter includes information about how to update the locks on their existing lockbox, where to purchase a new lockbox and tips on how to enhance security to reduce unauthorized entry.
During one suspicious incident reported to the Kelowna Fire Department on March 8, 2022, an unknown male suspect was observed tampering with a lockbox on a residential building on Houghton Road. This incident occurred between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and witnesses reported the suspect appeared well dressed and greeted people as they walked past.
We are working closely with our partners at the Kelowna Fire Department, states Cpl. Tammy Lobb, Media Relations Officer for the Kelowna RCMP.
We encourage property managers to check their lockboxes for signs of tampering and if access has been gained, report it to the fire department as well as police. If you see anyone accessing the fire lockboxes, ask them for identification. Both fire department personnel and locksmiths will carry identification. Non authorized persons should be reported to the RCMP immediately.
Anyone who may have information regarding these acts of mischief and thefts is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP by calling (250) 762-3300. To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net
Cpl. Tammy LobbMedia Relations Officer
1190 Richter Street
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