THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and you’re not the only one window shopping for gifts. Thieves are checking out parked vehicles, looking for valuables and those expensive Christmas gifts you just bought. It won’t turn out to be the most wonderful time of the year if you don’t secure your vehicle and keep valuables out of sight.
“Thieves are always looking for quick and easy ways to get at valuables left in cars, which are most often left in plain sight,” says Edmonton Police Const. Philippe Aube of Summerlea Station. “Thefts from vehicles happen fast, at any time of the day and anywhere – but mall parking lots are a prime target during the holiday season.”
The Edmonton Police Service offers tips that can help make sure your holiday season is more jolly and crime free. Unfortunately, criminals view the holiday season an opportunity to burglarize your home and car for gifts, cash or other valuables.
The following are some tips for your home:
- Be sure to check and lock your doors and windows when you leave your home;
- Do not display your Christmas tree & gifts in a window visible from the street. Criminals may be tempted to smash the window to steal packages or plan a break-in;
- Use indoor/outdoor light timers when you are away;
- If you are away, ask a neighbour to take in your mail and newspapers and clear your walks and driveway of snow when needed;
- When going out in the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the home appears to be occupied;
- After Christmas, do not leave empty gift boxes by the garbage. This is an advertisement for thieves. Collapse the boxes or cut them up to conceal the items. Please remember to recycle.
The following are some tips for your car:
- Park in a well-lit area of the shopping mall parking lot;
- Do not overburden yourself with packages and bags;
- Keep your vehicle doors and windows closed and locked;
- Lock gift packages in the trunk of your car. If you have an SUV use a blanket to cover purchases;
- Check the back seat before entering your car;
- Never leave your car running unattended.