As part of Crime Prevention Week last week, RCMP Const. Derek Turner and Cpl. Leanne Molzahn gave a demonstration on how easy it is for criminals to smash the windows of a car and grab any valuables.
While Turner demonstrated the ease at which windows can be broken on a car using a hammer, he told spectators in front of the South Pointe Common AMA Centre where the demo was hosted, how some criminals will use baseball bats, rocks or even special window breaking tools intended for emergencies.
Molzahn warned attendees not to leave valuables out in the open and offered a multitude of tips and tricks to prevent their cars from being vandalized and any valuables inside from being stolen.
“We want to encourage people to take these simple steps to prevent them from falling victim to a smash and grab,” said Molzahn. “Things like removing the change from the middle console that can collect over time, not leaving backpacks in open sight as people may think there may be a laptop inside, and stowing valuables out of sight.”
Molzahn stated that removing those valuable objects from your car entirely is the best solution, but sometimes this isn’t always possible.
In these situations, she recommended utilizing the trunk or glove box of a car where items can be stowed safely out of view. Timing also played a large role in the smash and grab demonstration as Molzahn explained these types of crimes tend to increase in the warmer months.
Turner’s demonstration, where he smashed the windows from a Ford Mercury, showed just how short of a time, about 10 seconds on average, it takes for a criminal to smash a window and grab belongings.
“The front windows can be smashed on this particular vehicle with one solid swing,” he said. “It is a crime of opportunity and can happen at anytime of day, even if you just left your bags in the car from the last two stores you were in on your way to the next store.”
For more information on crime prevention and how to protect your belongings, contact the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre at 403-986-9904.