Many vehicle owners tempting thieves

Lock It or Lose It campaign trying to change bad habits

More than half of the vehicles check in an anti-theft campaign qualify as thief bait.

Red Deer RCMP and volunteers with Red Deer Citizens on Patrol kicked off their Lock It or Lose It public education campaign in the Collicutt Centre parking lot on February 20. They visually inspecting 210 vehicles for issues that could make them more attractive targets for thieves.

Of those checked, 65 had possessions or cash in plain view, 46, had garage door openers in plain view and 20 had visible electronics. Five vehicles had keys left inside.

Only 97 vehicles checked passed muster.

Citizens on Patrol volunteers did not try doors or touch vehicles, other than placing a flyer under their windshields to inform the driver that their vehicle had been visually inspected.

The flyers flagged any temptations volunteers saw that might induce a thief to break into the vehicle or attempt to steal it. The goal is to educate drivers about ways they can protect themselves from becoming victims of crime.

97 of the 210 vehicles received a thumbs up for the care drivers had taken to prevent themselves from being victims of crime. 65 vehicles had possessions or cash in plain view, 20 had visible electronics, and 46 had a garage door opener in plain view. Five vehicles had keys left inside.

Volunteers also provided helpful reminders about expired or soon-to-expire registration, and noted items such as a broken tail light that the vehicle owner might not have known about.

The Lock It or Lose It program is part of ongoing work by Red Deer RCMP and local crime prevention agencies to educate Red Deerians about ways they can avoid being victims of crime.

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