Mounties issue reminder to lock up vehicles after spike in opportunity thefts

Warning issued after thefts

Kamloops Mounties are reminding the public to make sure their vehicles are locked up after a rash of recent opportunity thefts.

In a news release, Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Crystal Evelyn said last week, more than a quarter of the vehicles reported stolen in Kamloops had been taken after keys had been left inside, or with a key located in an unlocked vehicle nearby.

“Over the last month or so, we’ve even had vehicles stolen while they were left running, unlocked, outside of a store,” Evelyn said.

“It doesn’t get much easier than that for a thief just passing by to steal a vehicle and potentially use it for more crime and property theft.”

According to police, as well as being an easy target, an unlocked vehicle with its keys inside is considered to be an insecure vehicle, an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act.

“Crimes of opportunity are the easiest ones to commit, but also to prevent,” Evelyn said.

Mounties said people should not keep spare keys or garage door openers in a vehicle, and reminded residents to shut their cars off and take the keys while running errands.

Police said residents should consider using an anti-theft device like a steering wheel lock, park vehicles in garages if possible, and wait for automatic gates in a controlled parking area to close when entering or leaving.

“Do not leave any property in your vehicle,” RCMP said in a statement.

“Thieves will break in for as little as a few coins or a cigarette lighter. If you absolutely must leave items in your vehicle, secure them in the trunk as many thieves routinely check the glove box and under the seat for hidden items.”

Residents are reminded to contact police immediately if they see suspicious people or activities near a vehicle, and to try and get a description of the suspects and their vehicle, including the license plate number.

Crimes such as stolen or damaged property without any witnesses or suspects can be reported online, through this link.

More Kamloops News