The holiday season can be stressful enough as it is.
The last thing anyone wants is to have their car broken into when they are still thinking of which last minute gift to buy their grandmother.
Local RCMP sent out a press release on December 12 saying there has been a recent increase in reported thefts from vehicles in the downtown core of Quesnel.
During the holiday season, Christmas gifts, liquor and groceries have been targeted. Typical items have also included purses, wallets, credit cards, house keys, cash and electronics.
To help residents, they have provided a list of tips to mitigate risk:
•Do not leave any property in your vehicle or expect to find it gone when you return later. 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.
•Do not keep spare keys to your vehicle in your vehicle.
•Do not leave any personal identification in an unattended vehicle or you could become a victim of identity theft.
•If you drive an older model vehicle without passive immobilization, invest in one in conjunction with using a steering wheel lock every time you park your vehicle. This will not only protect you from having your vehicle stolen, but is also a visual deterrent to thieves.
•Secure your licence plates with bolts – Criminals commonly steal licence plates to commit other crimes.
•Do not set the ‘Home’ function on your GPS or smart phone to your home address, but rather to a nearby intersection, thereby not allowing the suspects to know exactly where you live.
•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. Keep your insurance papers locked in your glove box.
•If you have a garage, use it when parking at home. If you don’t have access to a garage, light your driveway at night. Elsewhere, park in well lit, open, visible areas. Avoid parking behind fences or hedges.
•Record the serial numbers of all items of value. The serial number is the best way police have of tracking property and returning it to the rightful owner.
•When fueling your vehicle, ensure that you have your vehicle’s key with you at all times and lock your vehicle when you go in to pay.
•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.
They ask all victims of theft or those who have information that might lead to an arrest to call the Quesnel RCMP at 250-992-9211