EDITORIAL: Rural residents need caution

Locking doors, securing property doesn't have to mean a loss of lifestyle for Metchosin residents

A recent rash of thefts from vehicles and sheds should serve as a wakeup call to Metchosin residents.

With a quaint “downtown” that consists of a handful of businesses surrounding a T-junction at Metchosin, William Head and Happy Valley roads, and a mostly rural residential setting whose flavour has been largely unchanged for decades, it’s easy to understand why a false sense of security has become commonplace.

Make no mistake, however, Metchosin is no less immune to crimes of opportunity than any other area in the Capital Region. The desperate folks who resort to this type of activity to feed their habits think nothing of taking a pleasant drive out to the country to wreak havoc.

That is especially true when would-be thieves know there is a plethora of remote properties available to prey upon, and a mindset among residents that they don’t need to lock or remove valuables from their vehicles, or ensure their doors are locked and their sheds and out buildings secure.

That loose change sitting in plain sight in the console of your car for parking? It’ll cover the price of thieves’ gas for the trip back to the big city, or wherever they happen to be coming from.

West Shore RCMP conducted a community safety presentation a number of years ago that dealt with some of the challenges of preventing crime in rural areas. The good news was the event drew more than 100 people to Metchosin Community Hall on a Friday night. The bad news was that close to half the vehicles in the parking lot were either unlocked and or had valuables in plain sight.

It makes you wonder how many of those in attendance left their homes unlocked.

It’s time that Metchosin residents took the RCMP’s message to heart and took that extra little bit of time to secure those valuables and ensured property was not readily available to those who would profit by stealing it.

Rather than seeing it as an intrusion on their wonderful rural lifestyle, we hope residents look at personal security more as a way of preserving that lifestyle. Practising security is a good way to discourage  intruders from putting Metchosin on their preferred hit list.

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