Thieves target holiday shoppers

 A 53-year-old Kelowna man has been sentenced to 42 days in jail after pleading guilty to stealing a cell phone from inside a bait vehicle last month.

On Nov. 25, the Kelowna RCMP received multiple bait vehicle activations  throughout the day from the same vehicle but it never went mobile. After reviewing the video retrieved from the bait vehicle, a 53-year-old Kelowna man, known to police, was observed taking a cell phone from within the passenger compartment.

Later that month, Angelo Tumato was arrested for theft under $5,000 and brought before a judge. On Nov. 30,  Tumato pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to serve 42 days.

The Bait Car Program is just one of the many tools the Kelowna RCMP uses in its Crime Reduction Strategy, targeting prolific offenders who tend to be responsible for the majority of crime.

Although theft occurs year-round, it is the Christmas shopping season and thefts from vehicle are expected to rise. Shoppers are reminded to protect their purchases by following a few simple steps:
Always lock your vehicle
Do not leave valuables inside your vehicle
If you must leave something inside, place it in the trunk and out of view
Park in well lit areas when shopping at night
Plan your shopping trip to pick up the largest items last. This will allow you to keep the smaller items out of view while purchasing that last big item.
If you have information regarding car thieves, you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, reporting online at www.crimestoppers.net or texting to CRIMES (274637) ktown.

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