SUDBURY -- Capreol residents are on alert and calling for more patrols of the area after an increase in theft over the last few days.

One of the more recent was at North of 17, a business on Regional Road 84. The company's service van had its tires and rims stolen and it was left on blocks for owner Cory Smith to find Monday morning.

"We have a gentleman who works here at the shop and he usually comes in rather early. I got a text from him at 6:30 with a couple photos with our van sitting up on blocks, so I found out this morning as soon as I rolled out of bed," Smith said.

He said the van is not left outside often, and in the two years that they've been at that building, that may have been the first time it was left overnight.

"I was shocked," Smith said. "This is a story you hear about happening to other people. You hear about it happening more in the movies than you do in real life if you will."

It's also disappointing, he said, COVID-19 has been tough on everyone and his business is no exception. They're doing what they can to stay afloat and having an added expense certainly doesn't help.

Smith said he's been touched by the amount of Capreol residents reaching out to help over the Capreol Community Facebook page.

North of 17 wasn't the only place targeted. James Gauvreau's security system caught images of two hooded figures sneaking up onto his stoop to steal plants.

"Honestly, I wasn't too shocked in today's world that we live in, anything can be expected. Yeah, upset for someone to come and take flowers -- of all things -- especially when I had them up properly for less than 24 hours, but not surprised," Gauvreau said.

He said he's not going to let someone deter him from decorating and beautifying his property. He has already replaced the flowers.

Jodi MacDonald and her husband caught what they believe was one of the suspects prowling around their property early Friday morning.

"I hope there's more patrolling and an officer, you know, if we call. It shouldn't have to be two hours before a police officer gets to Capreol," MacDonald said.

Greater Sudbury Police Service confirmed there was an arrest made Friday morning and it received six reports of theft in the community over the last week. Three of those incidents were theft from vehicles on Sunday.

The local city councillor, Mike Jakubo, has also been made aware of the recent thefts. He and police are asking people to keep their doors locked. They also are asking residents who see any suspicious behaviour to call GSPS.

Another Capreol resident named Shauna had a real frightening encounter recently. She was home alone one night when someone broke into her home, so she took her dogs and locked herself in the bathroom while calling 911.

"It was scary. I was praying that they wouldn't be coming up the stairs towards me," she said. "I thought that we had police in Val Caron. Unfortunately, we don't. So hopefully we can get some sort of police presence closer to Capreol."

She and MacDonald would like to see an increase in patrols in the area.

"My anxiety has gone up. I'm scared for our community. It seems like every single night we're going to bed only to wake up and hear about another instance on the local Facebook group," Shauna said.

The Capreol Community Action Network is having a meeting on Thursday and is inviting anyone with comments or concerns to bring them forward in hopes of finding solutions.

In the meantime, Smith says North of 17 will be putting the winter tires and rims on their work vehicle so they can make deliveries by the end of the week.

It's not a perfect solution, but he said this way they'll still be able to get on the road.

"Going forward, this van will never spend an evening outside again," he said.