Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are reminding the public to be extra vigilant during the holiday season in securing your vehicles and belongings.
With the busy holiday season upon us, the Vernon Crime Prevention unit and the RCMP want to stress the necessity for minimizing the risk of someone breaking into your vehicle because of tempting packages or belongings that may be on display.
“Ensuring that your vehicles are securely locked and not leaving valuables in the vehicle will deter thefts from occurring,” said Regan Borisenko, City of Vernon crime prevention coordinator. “If you must leave valuables in the vehicle, securing them in the trunk or in a non-visible spot is your best option.”
Vernon RCMP volunteers have been hard at work, walking through parking lots in the city, checking to make sure vehicles are secure, if any valuables are present and if there are any anti-theft devices installed.
Prevention infractions called Crime Prevention Notices will be issued to vehicles that are seen left insecure or with visible items in them.
“There is nothing punitive about the notices, it is simply to promote the prevention and raise awareness of thefts from vehicles,” said Borisenko.
Theft from auto is a crime of opportunity and as such is preventable. Something as insignificant as small change may lure a thief and the damages caused to the vehicle can outweigh the value of what was actually taken.
The RCMP is finding that the majority of the reports of thefts from auto were to vehicles with unlocked doors, often with valuables left in plain sight.
“In the event of a theft from auto where valuables, personal identification or credit cards have been stolen, please contact your local RCMP detachment and notify your financial institutions,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.
If you see any suspicious persons or activities near a vehicle, call the police immediately.
“Let the police determine if it’s a crime in progress,” said Brett.