Red Deer, Alberta – Red Deer RCMP and volunteers with Red Deer Citizens on Patrol (COP) will be launching a “Lock it or Lose it” public education campaign throughout the city in the coming weeks, focusing on the prevention of vehicle thefts and “smash and grab” crimes.
In an effort to remind people about easy steps they can take to make their vehicles a less attractive target for thieves, COP volunteers will patrol public parking lots and other locations identified by partner agencies and RCMP, and do visual examinations of vehicles to assess them for crime risk. Volunteers will work under the supervision of an RCMP officer and will not try doors or touch vehicles – the inspection is visual only. They will leave a flyer under the windshield of each vehicle they check, flagging any temptations they see that might induce a thief to break into the vehicle or attempt to steal it.
“These campaigns are effective on several levels,” says Constable Sean Morris of the Red Deer RCMP. “We’re offering people reminders of simple actions they can take to make their vehicles less attractive targets to criminals. As well, when citizens receive a physical reminder on their vehicle that someone was looking at it – in this case, a volunteer with their best interests at heart – it’s an effective reminder that less well-intentioned people are examining their vehicles regularly as well, looking for opportunities.”
The checklist COP volunteers leave on vehicles flags potential issues such as: unlocked vehicles, if that can be determined through a visual scan; keys in the ignition; valuables in plain view; or a visible garage door opener, which could, along with an address taken from registration information left in the vehicle, be used break into someone’s home.
The “Lock it or Lose it” campaign is part of ongoing work by Red Deer RCMP and local crime prevention agencies to educate Red Deerians about loss prevention.
Cst. Sean Morris
Red Deer RCMP