Fort St. John RCMP say they have received a rash of commercial break and enter reports over the past two weeks.
According to a release, the first report came in Oct. 6 at Amanda's No Frills where a lone suspect entered the building and stole numerous items.
Additional reports came in on Oct. 15 for Mastaro Sushi and MJ Crepes, on Oct. 16 for KFC, and Oct. 18 for Audielicious, with all the incidents occurring during the night time hours. Cash appeared to be the main target for the suspect in each case, police said.
RCMP say they are also investigating commercial break-ins to compounds where individuals broke into locked compounds and stole large items.
On Oct. 14, suspects broke into Northern Roy Environmental by cutting the chain link fence and stealing a flat deck trailer and a Kawasaki UTV.
On Oct. 16, suspects cut the chain linked fence to gain entry into Alpine Storage and stole a 2019 Keystone Cougar travel trailer.
On Oct. 18, suspects forced entry into Eecol Electric and stole a roll of cooper wire.
"Thieves are usually looking for what is quick and easy with the best payoff. Areas that are dark or secluded, have little local traffic and hold potential valuables are prime targets for thieves," RCMP stated in the release.
"With the sudden rash of break and enters, police are not ruling out that this is the work of the same person or a group of persons and are continuing to investigate. When there is a sudden spike of similar offences, it is typical that a new offender has moved in or returned to the area."
Businesses can help protect their business and possessions with the following tips:
always store money under lock and key and preferably where it would not be easily located or accessed,
do not maintain a float of cash, even if it is change in the till unattended overnight,
ensure all doors, windows and gates are locked and alarms are set,
maintain video surveillance systems,
maintain area lighting which illuminates dark or large open areas,
ensure vehicles are locked and valuable documents or possessions are removed,
hitch locks on trailers can be a valuable deterrent as they require time for offenders to deal with.
RCMP say they will continue overnight patrols across the city and wish to partner with the community to catch the thief or thieves in situations like this.
If anyone observed any suspicious activity during overnight hours at or near these locations, the RCMP requests you contact police and share what you saw or heard by calling 250-787-8100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.