RCMP Offer Tips to Prevent Car Theft

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RCMP

RCMPTHUNDER BAY – Cold winter weather can open the door for vehicle theft.

“Vehicles left running and unlocked are an invitation to criminals – they look for opportunities like these in every neighbourhood and quiet cul de sac in the city,” says Constable Derek Turner of the Red Deer RCMP. “People think their vehicle will be fine for a few minutes while they go back in their houses or run into a store or gas station, but that just isn’t true. It takes mere seconds for a criminal to slip into an unlocked, running vehicle and drive away.”

Many vehicle thefts happen on impulse when criminals see easy targets such as unlocked, running vehicles; more thefts are done by criminals who move methodically from vehicle to vehicle, looking for the easiest target.

Criminals often steal vehicles to get from one place to another, or use them to commit crimes in. Many of the stolen vehicles are recovered after having been used for these purposes and then abandoned, but others may be sold to illegal chop shops.

While theft of vehicles is not always preventable, RCMP note that thefts of those left running and unlocked are almost certainly preventable.

“Anyone who has had their vehicle stolen can attest to the disruption, inconvenience and financial consequences they face afterward, and these sort of preventable crimes are also a drain on police resources.” Turner said. “Police understand that some vehicles may need to be warmed up on cold days, but don’t leave them unlocked and unattended – the harder you make a criminal work to steal your belongings, the less likely they are to target you.”

RCMP also advise vehicle owners to regularly check their license plates: criminals often steal license plates to use while committing crimes, and sometimes replace them with other stolen license plates that may have been used in previous crimes.

RCMP recommendations to help prevent vehicle theft:

·         Lock your vehicle every time you step away from it

·         Do not leave keys in the ignition while fuelling up or inflating tires at gas stations

·         Do not keep spare keys hidden in your vehicle or in your garage

·         Always lock your garage, and lock the door between attached garages and homes

·         Do not leave valuables in sight in your vehicle

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