Thefts from unlocked vehicles serve as reminder to owners

West Shore RCMP notice a spike in thefts from vehicles

West Shore RCMP are reminding residents to lock their vehicles, put away valuable items and park in well-lit areas after a rash of thefts from vehicles last week.

The majority of those took place at night and for the most part, the targeted vehicles were left unlocked, said detachment spokesperson Const. Alex Berube.

When police see a rash of vehicle break-ins, he said, they are often in the same area or neighbourhood and are evidence of thieves looking for an easy grab. They will go from car to car and move fast, usually in dark areas to avoid detection. While unlocked vehicles make it easy for thieves, they will often smash windows if they see something appealing, such as a wallet, phone, spare change or other valuables left out in the open.

Residents should lock their vehicles at all times, even when parked in a locked garage, Berube said. Other suggestions for preventing thefts include storing spare keys in a secure location, removing garage door openers, house or business keys, and even taking out vehicle registration papers from a vehicle when it is parked to help prevent other crimes, such as identity theft or unlawful entry.

Parking in a well-lit, well-populated area can provide “natural surveillance” and help deter thieves, he said. If your vehicle is not equipped with an immobilizer, police also recommend having one installed or using some other anti-theft device.

Police also ask residents to report any suspicious activity right away.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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