Red Deer RCMP and volunteers with Red Deer Citizens on Patrol (COP) continued their work on the “Lock it or Lose it” public education campaign on Dec. 9th during a Red Deer Rebels game, visually checking 390 vehicles in the Westerner Park parking lots in an effort to educate the public on the important role they play in crime reduction efforts around vehicle thefts and “smash and grab” crimes.
Eight COP volunteers worked with Red Deer RCMP to check the vehicles; 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, with the goal of educating drivers about ways they can protect themselves from becoming victims of crime.
Only 48 of the vehicles checked (12%) received a thumbs up for the care drivers had taken to prevent themselves from being victims of crime. 67 vehicles had possessions or cash in plain view, 25 had visible electronics, and 52 had a garage door opener in plain view. Seven trucks had items of value left in the box, and four vehicles had their keys left inside.
“These are the lowest safety scores we’ve seen since the campaign began, despite how vocal citizens are about their concerns about property crime,” said Constable Sean Morris with the Red Deer RCMP. “Saturday night we saw the evidence of a shocking number of citizens who continue to make choices that create attractive targets for smash and grab thefts. It’s not difficult to secure your vehicle and remove valuables from it, and we’re asking citizens to stop and think about the impact of their actions.”
Volunteers also provided helpful reminders about expired or soon-to-expire registration, and noted issues such as an interior light left on and numerous cracked windshields.
Vehicle thefts and property crimes are a concern everywhere, and the “Lock it or Lose it” campaign reminds drivers that many crimes can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. The 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.