It’s a daily occurrence , theft and crime in Sault Ste. Marie seems to be on the rise despite what the Police Services Board want you to think. The stats used by the board indicate crime in the city is down but those stats only paint one picture – the theft and crime that is reported to Police. Many victims of theft will tell you that they “didn’t bother calling the Police.”
This video is perhaps why.
A FirstLocalNews.com viewer submitted this surveillance video recorded just a few nights ago. In the video, a person is seen looking at the parked vehicle, then opening the door. It is not known if the door was locked. Just then, a Sault Ste. Marie Police cruiser is seen driving by and not stopping as the person as the person is removing items from the vehicle.
The victim’s son, told FirstLocalNews.com that the thieve stole “rotors, shocks and a bunch of bags”. The video was captured June 29th at 4am.
FirstLocalNews.com can not confirm on why the Police Cruiser didn’t stop while a crime was being committed in plain view. It may have been because , the cruiser was dispatched to another scene. It may have been something the officer(s) didn’t see as they drove by or for many other reasons, that however is little comfort to the victim.
Residents of Sault Ste. Marie are so fed up with the blatant thefts, break and enters and other crime that a facebook group and page was created to be be the eyes and ears in local neighbourhoods. Keeping the Sault Safe often features photos, names and accounts of crime almost on a daily basis. The page also allows victims of crime to vent.
They have plenty to vent about. According to Sault Ste. Marie Police Service stats, crimes of violence is up 38.5% for the month of March 2023 with 18 robberies reported. Compared to 13 in 2022. Crimes of property however have reduced. Total break and enters to both business and residential was down 16.8% in March 2023 compared to March 2022. Break and Enter reported to Police are down substantially since March 2020 which saw 247 reported Break and Enter.
When it comes down to attempted theft from vehicles, the latest stats available show a decrease of 6.7% from March 2022. Police stats indicate 458 attempted theft compared to 491 in March of last year.
Mischief was pegged at an increase of 36.3% for March 2023 with 139 cases reported compared to 102 in 2022.
One former police officer and now ward 2 councillor has concerns over police patrols in the downtown area and lack of fast response times. Sonny Spina, who served with Sault Police Service for 18 years before throwing his hat into the political arena – winning his ward 2 seat in the October 2022 Municipal election. Spina was also recently appointed to the Police Services Board.
In a recent Sault Star article, Spina questioned the Sault Police Chief Hugh Stevenson about police patrols downtown in July and August. Spina told the board that he was acting on requests from Sault residents wanting “ a police presence” downtown since the board doesn’t meet again until September.