Kamloops cell phone thieves target sports teams

By James Peters
January 12, 2018 - 4:21pm

KAMLOOPS — RCMP say a new theft trend has popped up in Kamloops this year. 

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says, in the first week of 2018, police recorded three separate incidents of sports teams being victimized while they are away from their change rooms.

Two of the sprees happened at Memorial Arena, with the third at the Tournament Capital Centre.

In each case, the thief collected cell phones from the victims.

Shelkie says it's a little unusual for a thief to target a group of people, rather than an individual.

"We do see quite a few occurrences where there's a single victim - somebody who has had their wallet or their cell phone stolen," said Shelkie. 

"It's usually just one victim. Maybe one victim in the morning and another one in the afternoon at the same place. In this case, somebody's going in and just going through all the lockers and all the bags and taking out whatever they can."

She notes there were no incidents with multiple victims reported in either November or December.

Shelkie says, in one incident at Memorial Area, seven cell phones were reported stolen.

She says too many people simply leave their personal items in an open change room, hoping they will be there at the end of the game.

"Either lock all of your items up in a locker or, in the case of a team, have one communal bag, stick all of the cell phones and wallets in the bag and then leave them with a parent or a coach. Take them out of the change room so other people can't come in and steal them."

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