NEWS

String of car break-­ins worry West Island residents

04/09/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 06/08/2015 05:59 EDT
There is growing concern among some West Island residents about cars being broken into on residential streets.

Several residents in Dollard-­des­-Ormeaux and Kirkland have told CBC, or reported on social media, that their cars had been recently broken into while parked outside their homes.

In many cases, while some items were displaced, residents claim nothing of value was stolen.

"They're looking for something, we just don't know what," said DDO resident Robert Wiseman.

Wiseman says his family's cars have been broken into three times in the last three months. 

The first time, he says he heard the garage door open, but when he went to see why, he heard and saw nothing.

The next morning, however, his wife's car had clearly been rifled through, and the garage door opener was missing. 

"This is Dollard — these things aren't supposed to happen here. We're supposed to feel safe," said Wiseman.

No signs of forced entry

Wiseman and several other residents say there have been no signs anyone broke locks or windows to get into into their cars.

DDO resident Machelle Wilchesky said her car was broken into only a few days ago.

"I don't think anything is missing, there's no sign of forced entry at all. It's just very strange," Wilchesky said.

Last December, CBC reported on phantom car break­ins in the West Island that eluded authorities.

While the phenomenon appears to be occurring regularly, authorities don't appear to have much to say about it.

Montreal police confirm they arrested three people last week on a residential street in Pierrefonds and charged one of them with stealing items from vehicles. However, police say the man was simply targeting unlocked cars.

Police did not respond to CBC's request for comment on car break-­ins in general in the West Island.

Relatively safe

Gerry Lauzon of the Dollard-­des-­Ormeaux Patrol Service says his department isn't aware of any larger trend when it comes to phantom break-­ins.

"It's nothing that we've looked into before or been brought to our attention."

Lauzon says overall, the number of cars being broken into in general in Dollard has gone down in recent years. In 2012, there were 178 reported incidents, compared to 76 in 2013 and 78 in 2014. 

He argues the city is relatively safe since a municipality of DDO's size should average close to 300 break-ins per year.

Still, Lauzon says his service does increase patrols in areas that have reported incidents, and attributes the decrease in reported break-­ins to better collaboration with the Montreal police department.

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