It’s the holiday season and everyone is excited about Christmas. However, stacks of Christmas gifts left unattended in an unlocked car can be an invitation to thieves says one local RCMP commander.
Sgt. Corey Kyle, NCO of the Thorsby/Breton RCMP detachment, said police often get a rash of complaints about break and enter to vehicles in a small geographic area. What this likely means is one or more thieves was going door to door, trying handles to see who left their vehicles unlocked.
“It becomes a crime of opportunity,” said Kyle by phone Dec. 8.
“We can reduce these incidents by reducing opportunity. Keep the vehicles locked and remove the items of value.”
Kyle said the AMA has conducted a very successful campaign called “Lock it or lose it” to remind people that thieves love to find an unlocked car full of valuable; it’s an easy crime to commit that doesn’t require breaking any windows or the kind of criminal activity that tends to attract attention.
As well, Kyle pointed out that leaving very important valuables like a wallet or purse in an unlocked vehicle can be a mistake that haunts a victim for years to come. Theft of a wallet or purse with ID cards or credit cards can result in identity theft. He said some incidents of identity theft can still crop years after the fact.
Holiday Theft Prevention Tips
A press release from RCMP K Division stated the holiday season is upon us, a time for celebration and giving. However with all of purchases, presents and gatherings comes the threat of break-ins and theft. Protect your home, vehicle and your family this holiday season with these prevention tips:
When parking your vehicle to go shopping, remember where you parked it! Always park in a well-lit and well-traveled area.
Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. You will be ready to unlock the door and will not be delayed by fumbling and looking for your keys.
When storing items purchased at the stores, place them out of sight. The best place is in a locked trunk.
Do not leave your purse, wallet, or cellular telephone in plain view.
Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
Beware of the “a good deal” scams. Things are not always what they appear to be.
Limit the information you place on social media. Do not advise that you’re on vacation or just spent the day shopping on social media websites alerting possible thieves.
Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through windows and doors of your home.
Do not leave spare keys in your vehicle.
“Many people will spend time shopping in stores and online for the perfect gifts for their friends and family”, says Cst. Chantelle Kelly of the Strathcona County RCMP. “While it is easy to get caught up in the fun of it all, it is important to remember that with increased purchasing comes heightened risk of theft”.