Theft from vehicles are on the rise in the Central Okanagan, where we’ve seen a 21 per cent increase in thefts so far this year compared to 2013.
Residential break and enters are also eight per cent higher than last year, with many rural homes being targeted, according to numbers released by the Kelowna RCMP.
Police say many of these crimes can be prevented.
“Over twenty five per cent of all vehicle thefts are a direct result of keys being left inside the car and countless more are a direct result of the vehicle being left unlocked,” says Superintendent Nick Romanchuk.
The most popular items to steal include purses, wallets, cell phones, iPads, laptop computers and other electronic devices.
“By removing any valuables and properly securing your vehicle and home, the risk of any theft occurring is minimized, and is probably one of the easiest ways for residents to participate in preventing crime in their neighbourhood,” Romanchuk adds.
When it comes to rural homes, police say they’ve found those residents to have the biggest false sense of security, often leaving their doors unlocked.
The RCMP are warning residents to either “Lock it or lose it,” noting an unsecured motor vehicle or house is a tempting target for thieves.