Mission RCMP are asking the public to take steps to avoid becoming victims of theft.

Mission RCMP are asking the public to take steps to avoid becoming victims of theft.

Numerous incidents of vehicle break-ins, theft in Mission

Items being stolen from vehicles are usually worth little, but damage is costly. Mission RCMP want car owners to protect themselves.

  • May. 17, 2016 7:00 p.m.

Mission RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance to combat the problem of thefts from vehicles in the District of Mission.

Numerous incidents of items being stolen from vehicles have occurred recently. These incidents typically involve the theft of items worth very little and result in damage costing several hundred dollars to repair.

Police are asking the public to assist in preventing these thefts and are offering the following tips to help people prevent being victimized:

Remove all items from your vehicle – Ensure you never leave any items in your vehicle, even if you will only be away from your vehicle for a few minutes. It only takes a few seconds to break into your vehicle. Remember to take your purse/wallet, sunglasses, CDs, electronics, loose change, shopping bags, backpacks, etc. 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 as many thieves routinely check the glove box and under the seat for hidden items.

Park smart – Always lock your vehicle when leaving it unattended. If you have a garage, use it all the time when parking at home. If you have to park outside, park in an open area with good lighting.

Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle when parking outside – Thieves will often break into vehicles to open the owner’s garage with the door opener from inside the vehicle. After opening the garage they will steal power tools and other items of value from inside.

Use a steering wheel lock every time you park your vehicle – A well secured vehicle is a deterrent to thieves looking for valuables and will also help in preventing theft of the vehicle.

Secure your licence plates with bolts – Criminals commonly steal licence plates and use them to avoid being identified while committing other crimes. Securing your licence plate with a bolt will make them more secure than using common screws which can quickly and easily be removed.

Report suspicious activity while it is happening – Reporting suspicious activity to police may prevent you or your neighbour being victimized. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious contact police. Try to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle (including licence plate). Do not confront the suspects. People often fail to report suspicious activity while it is occurring because they don’t want to be embarrassed if their suspicions are unfounded. It’s the job of police to detect and apprehend criminals but they cannot be everywhere all the time. The police prefer that you call in suspicious activity so it can be investigated, resulting in criminals being apprehended and further criminal acts prevented.

Thieves usually pick quick targets of opportunity when they commit thefts from vehicles. Making it as difficult and as time-consuming as possible for thieves to break into your vehicle will increase the chances that they will not target your vehicle.

Increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen. 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.