Anti-theft campaign launched

Vehicle owners who make themselves tempting targets for thieves to be targeted

Red Deer’s Citizens on Patrol volunteers are joining forces with RCMP to remind people how to reduce their chances of becoming a smash-and-grab victim.

The Lock It or Lose It campaign will run for the next few weeks with the goal of making people’s vehicles a less attractive target for thieves.

Citizens on Patrol members plan to patrol parking lots and other places to identify vehicles that could prove tempting targets for vehicle thieves or culprits looking for valuables inside.

Volunteers under the supervision of an RCMP officer will look for vehicles that might attract the attention of a thief. They won’t try doors or touch vehicles.

As a reminder to vehicle owners to be careful, they will leave flyers under the windshield wipers identifying visual temptations for crooks.

“These campaigns are effective on several levels,” says RCMP Const. Sean Morris. “We’re offering people reminders of simple actions they can take to make their vehicles less attractive targets to criminals.

“As well, when citizens receive a physical reminder on their vehicle that someone was looking at it – in this case, a volunteer with their best interests at heart – it’s an effective reminder that less well-intentioned people are examining their vehicles regularly as well, looking for opportunities.”

The checklist volunteers leave on vehicles flags potential issues such as: unlocked vehicles, if that can be determined through a visual scan; keys in the ignition; valuables in plain view; or a visible garage door opener, which could, along with an address taken from registration information left in the vehicle, be used to break into someone’s home.

The campaign is part of the RCMP’s ongoing effort to work with local crime prevention agencies to send the crime prevention message.

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