April is auto crime prevention month, and the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is informing residents on how to “be car smart.”
Last year more than 800 thefts from vehicles were reported to the Vernon RCMP, on top of 315 reported vehicle thefts.
The Bait Car program, #9PMRoutine, and Lock-Out Auto Crime initiatives are all part of continuous efforts to reduce the number of thefts of and from vehicles in the community.
Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, says the fight against auto crime must be a joint effort between police and the public.
Auto crime prevention really starts with vehicle owners removing opportunities from thieves, Terleski said.
It’s predominantly a crime of opportunity and leaving valuables in your vehicle is an open invitation for someone to steal them. Thieves prefer easy targets and will pass over vehicles if they don’t see anything of value in it.
The Vernon RCMP offer several tips for protecting your vehicle:
• Lock your vehicle at night and when you are away from it;
• Park in a well lit area;
• Remove all valuables, including garage door openers;
• Use an immobilizer;
• Take your keys with you;
• Never leave a spare key inside the vehicle.
“Preventing auto crime benefits the entire community,” Terleski added. “We want everyone to be smart about what they leave behind, protect your vehicle, and don’t become a victim.”