The recent Lock it or Lose it campaign results in Red Deer are “disappointing.”
Red Deer RCMP and five Red Deer Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteers did visual inspections on 106 vehicles parked at Collicutt Centre June 9.
Const. Sean Morris of Red Deer RCMP said only 33 per cent of vehicles checked received a thumbs up for the care drivers took to protect themselves from crime. Six vehicles had keys visible in them.
“The results are disappointing compared to the January Lock it or Lose it checks, where 50 per cent of vehicles received thumbs up,” said Morris.
During the January checks, no vehicles had visible keys, RCMP news release states.
During the June 9 checks, 29 drivers left possessions or cash in plain view, 20 left electronics on visible display, and 36 had a garage door opener in plain view. Three drivers left their vehicle windows open.
Volunteers did not try doors or touch vehicles, other than to leave a report card at the vehicle, flagging temptations that might encourage a thief to break into the vehicle or try to steal it.
“It takes a thief mere seconds to smash your window and grab your possessions, and it’s frustrating to see so many citizens still making it easy for property criminals to ply their trade in the community,” said Morris. “Every week, Red Deer RCMP get reports from people who leave purses and wallets in their vehicles throughout the day and even overnight, and many of these victims end up dealing with the ramifications of identity theft for months afterward.”
He said the police are working hard to reduce crime in Red Deer through increased patrols, covert operations and special projects like the warrant round-up and the drug trafficking sweeps, and the community needs to meet them halfway.
“Target hardening only takes a few extra seconds, and these are easy, smart behaviours that benefit individuals, your neighbours and the entire community,” said Morris.
During Lock it or Lose it checks, vehicle owners also get helpful reminders about expired or soon-to-expire registration, and volunteers flag issues such as cracked windshields or a note that the vehicle appeared to have been left unlocked.
The Lock it or Lose it campaign is part of ongoing crime reduction work by Red Deer RCMP and local crime prevention agencies to educate Red Deerians about ways they can avoid being victims of crime. Red Deer RCMP and COP conducted five Lock it or Lose it events in 2017; the June 9 event was the second in a series of checks planned for 2018.