According to the Golden-Field RCMP, theft has risen 60 per cent this month in Golden, a sharp spike that has prompted the detachment to share tips on how to help prevent and reduce theft.
In August, RCMP reported five stolen vehicles, three stolen bikes and eight thefts from vehicles. Overall, there were three break and enters and 23 thefts.
Criminals who break into vehicles are known as opportunistic offenders, explains RCMP. That means that they tend to look for easy targets like vehicles with valuables left in the open or vehicles that have been left unlocked or running.
RCMP say that it’s important to lock your vehicle doors and roll up your windows - even if you don’t have anything valuable in your car. This will also deter those who would go into an unlocked car to look for a trunk or hood release button in order to steal parts or the contents of the trunk.
Other tips on preventing theft include:
- Park in well-lit/well-populated areas where “natural surveillance” can serve as a deterrent.
- Take your garage opener, house/business/mail keys and vehicle registration papers out of your vehicle when it is parked. If thieves steal these items, they can use them to commit other crimes including identity theft and break & enter.
- Check on your vehicle daily, to help ensure that RCMP get information of criminal activity in a timely manner. If you are away on vacation, have a trusted friend or neighbour check to ensure it has not been broken into.
- Lock up your bicycles, even if they are on your property.
- Take down serial numbers and photograph all of your valuable items. Without these, it is very difficult for police to identify stolen property as yours.
- Consider crime prevention through environmental design, such as putting up motion-sensor lighting and/or cameras around your property.
- Do not leave your car running - it is extremely high risk, and you are tempting someone to steal it.
- Do not store car keys, or spare keys, in visible spots in your home.
- Do not leave your valet key, spare key or house keys inside the vehicle.
- Never leave briefcases, purses and backpacks that may contain wallets, identification, laptops, cell phones and other valuables unattended in your vehicle. Not even for a moment. Not even locked in your trunk or glove box.
- Do not leave the security of your vehicle to chance. If your vehicle does not come equipped with an immobilizer, consider having one installed or buying and using an anti-theft device.
RCMP also encourage residents to help out one another by reporting criminal behaviour to police. RCMP say that staying connected within the community and paying attention to your neighbourhood can help reduce theft.