Red Deer RCMP say people are being safer when parking their vehicles.
Police and eight Red Deer Citizens on Patrol volunteers did visual inspections on 500 vehicles at Westerner Park during a Red Deer Rebels game Jan. 19 as part of the Lock it or Lose it campaign.
The results of the visual checks were significantly better than the previous Lock it or Lose it event.
Fifty per cent of the vehicles received a thumps up for the care drivers took to protect themselves from crime. Just 12 per cent of vehicles, four of which had visible keys inside, received a thumbs up at the most recent check in December.
“The results of Lock it of Lose it this month are encouraging, and we continue to remind citizens how important it is to take those extra few seconds to protect their possessions every single time they leave their vehicle,” said Red Deer RCMP Const. Sean Morris.
This was the first Lock it or Lose it event where none of the vehicles checked had visible keys inside.
Despite the improvement, some vehicles were still left unprotected. Five vehicles had windows left open, while 43 had possession or cash, 23 had visible electronics and 154 had a garage door opener in plain view.
“It’s a constant education process,” said Morris. “People express concern about property crime, but every day police receive reports of numerous preventable crimes – it’s a constant struggle against an ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude.”
Volunteers did not try to open doors or touch vehicles; they just left a report card flagging temptations that could encourage a thief to break into the vehicle or try to steal it.
Some vehicle owners also received reminders about expired or soon-to-expire registration and had issues, such as cracked windshields, flagged. A note was left on vehicles that appeared to be unlocked.
The campaign aims to educate Red Deerians about how they can avoid being victims of crime. This is the first Lock it of Lose it event planned for 2018; there were four events in 2017.