Red Deer, Alberta – 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 over two days during Westerner Days, visually checking 281 vehicles in the Westerner Park parking lots in an effort to educate the public on how to prevent vehicle thefts and “smash and grab” crimes.
COP volunteers worked with Red Deer RCMP to check 200 vehicles on July 22 and 81 more on July 23. 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.
Just over half of the vehicles checked (56%) received a thumbs up for the care drivers had taken to prevent themselves from being victims of crime. 36 vehicles had possessions or cash in plain view, 19 had visible electronics, and 55 had a garage door opener in plain view. Nine vehicles had keys left inside.
“Citizens continue to express their concern about property crimes, but many also continue to make choices that create attractive targets for smash and grab thefts,” says Constable Sean Morris with the Red Deer RCMP. “Criminals prowl parking lots looking for easy targets – why would you tempt them to smash your windows or steal your vehicle?”
Volunteers also provided helpful reminders about expired or soon-to-expire registration, and noted issues such as visible medication, items of value in the box of a truck, a broken brake light and a trunk that wasn’t closed.
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 work by Red Deer RCMP and local crime prevention agencies to educate Red Deerians about ways they can avoid being victims of crime.
Cst. Sean Morris
Red Deer RCMP