Opportunity vehicle thefts on the rise
2023-03-16 12:58 PDT
The Kamloops RCMP Detachment is reminding residents of how important it is to secure their vehicles, following a series of recent opportunity thefts.
Last week, March 6-12, more than one quarter of the vehicles reported stolen in Kamloops were done so with a key left inside, or 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, said Corporal Crystal Evelyn, Kamloops RCMP spokesperson.
It doesn’t get much easier than that for a thief just passing by to steal a vehicle and potentially use it to for more crime and property theft.
Along with making a vehicle an easy target, an unlocked vehicle with its keys inside is also considered to be an unsecure vehicle, an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act, S. 191 (2)(a).
Crimes of opportunity are the easiest ones to commit, but also to prevent, said Cpl. Evelyn.
In light of the recent and noticeable opportunity thefts, police are asking residents to please take a moment and review the following crime prevention tips and share them with other drivers in their household.
- Do not keep spare keys in a vehicle. What would have been the theft of some change, can quickly become a theft of a vehicle.
- Do not leave your vehicle running while you run errands or let it warm up. Shut it off and take the keys with you.
- Use an anti-theft device, such as a steering wheel lock. This is especially important if you are missing keys and waiting for your vehicle to be rekeyed or fobbed.
- If you have a garage, use it all the time when parking at home.
- Always wait for an automatic gate to close behind you when entering or leaving a controlled parking area.
- If you see any suspicious persons or activities near a vehicle, call the police immediately. Report suspicious activity while it is happening. Try to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle (including licence plate). Do not confront the suspects. Let the police determine if it’s a crime in progress.
- Do not leave any property in your vehicle. 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. Typical items stolen from vehicles include purses, wallets, credit cards, GPS units, passports, house keys, cash, clothing and sunglasses.
- Do not keep your garage door opener in your vehicle along with any identifying information as this could result in directing the suspects directly to your residence.
If you have information on crime, please contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000. Less serious crimes, such as stolen or damaged property without any witnesses or suspects, can also be reported online at https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/kamloops.
Cpl. Crystal EvelynMedia Relations Office
560 Battle Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 6N4
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