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Richmond Mounties offer tips to keep your home, vehicle safe this holiday season

It's that time of the year when opportunist thieves come out to play, targeting your property
112917-AdobeStock_68451925-vehicle-car-theft-break in
(stock photo)

Richmond RCMP has released a list of common sense tips to keep your home and vehicle safe from thieves this holiday season.

The Mounties recognize this time of year involves more shopping than usual and, with that, comes more opportunity for thieves to strike.

According to the RCMP, between 2020 and 2021, police locally saw a 31 per cent decrease in residential break and enters overall, due to its “priority action planning to reduce property crimes.”

But with the aforementioned holiday shopping season well underway, and people out of their homes for travel and gatherings, the RCMP has a number of proactive measures you can take to prevent your home from becoming a target for break and enters.

“I work with an excellent and dedicated team of investigators who work hard to identify and arrest offenders committing break and enters in our community,” said Sgt. Russel Yugai, Investigative Services Support NCO.

“Ultimately, our goal is to reduce crime in our community. Being proactive and educating the public around measures they can implement to keep their homes safe, is an integral part of our crime reduction strategy.”

Tips to help keep your home secure include:

Close and lock all windows each time you leave your home;

If you have an alarm, ensure to set it before you leave home;

Do not keep ladders or tools on the outside of your home. If it can be used to gain entry into your home keep it locked up and out of sight;

While on vacation arrange for someone to shovel/mow the lawn and park in your driveway. It’s ideal to have someone you trust, housesit for you so your home is still lived in while you are away. If this is not possible, make sure your home looks lived in;

Use timers on indoor lights and tamper-proof, motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. Lighting is the most effective crime prevention tool since criminals do not want to be seen.

Police tips for preventing thefts from vehicles 

As for protecting your vehicle from similar opportunists, the RCMP has a number of tips to prevent thefts:

Do not leave any property in your vehicle. 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;

Typical items stolen from vehicles include purses, wallets, credit cards, GPS units, passports, house keys, cash, clothing and sunglasses.

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.

Anyone who has been the victim of a theft from auto, or attempted theft from auto, should report it to the police of jurisdiction.

Whether something was stolen or not, reporting it allows police to investigate in an attempt to identify the individual(s) involved.

It also allows police to track potential crime trends and assign additional resources to areas being targeted.

 

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