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Skaha Provincial Park. Photo by Rich Wheater ©
Written by Dale Boyd – Penticton Western News
With some of the best sport climbing in the country right in Penticton’s backyard, a rash of break-ins at the parking lot of the Skaha Bluffs may have a bigger economic impact than stolen property.
Rolf Rybak, vice president and regional director of the Climber’s Access Society of B.C., is hoping to find a solution to what has become a growing problem, and he is meeting with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, the RCMP and MLA for Penticton Dan Ashton to come up with a solution.
“Traditionally we’d get transients coming in the spring and leaving in the fall and we’d get a rash of break-ins. Now we’re getting break-ins middle of the summer, early morning hours, late evenings and it seems to be not only are they just stealing stuff from cars, but they are stealing the batteries which causes considerable damage,” Rybak said.
Lock Out Auto Crime community volunteers were out at the Bluffs last week placing notices to keep valuables out of vehicles and providing information to hikers and climbers relating to the break-ins. Police have said they are also increasing patrols.
However, Rybak said there was another break-in over the weekend. He’s looking for a more long-term solution.
“The Climber’s Access Society is looking at seeing whether we can partner with parks, the city and maybe someone else and we could purchase a video camera and maybe have parks manage the video camera. That’s the solution we’d ultimately like to have,” Rybak said.
While increased police presence is a deterrent, the fact that most people are at the Bluffs to hike or climb leaves vehicles vulnerable.
“The big problem is you have tourists from the States or Alberta and they have all their stuff, they can’t carry it with them,” said Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth with the Penticton RCMP.”
-Read the full article at Penticton Western News