Local police are warning residents that there are Grinches on the prowl this time of year.
Const. Ken MacDonald with New Glasgow Regional Police said there have been a high number of incidents in the past month of items stolen from parked vehicles, both in residential and commercial areas.
So there is no better time than the present to remind the public of the police’s Lock It or Lose It campaign, he said.
“It provides awareness and information that if people don’t lock their vehicles, it increases their chances of becoming a victim by 75 per cent if someone in their area is stealing vehicles or items from vehicles,” he said.
MacDonald said in the past two weeks there have been at least a half-dozen calls from local vehicle owners who reported someone rifling through their cars and those who’ve had items, money or even vehicle papers stolen.
“We remind people of this message around the middle of December because people are in a different mindset,” he said. “We are busy buying gifts and sometimes we forget to lock the vehicles and other crime prevention measures.”
He said a vehicle with an unlocked door is an easy target for a thief. They typically don’t want to draw attention to themselves, so if there are unlocked doors in a parking lot, they will go to them first before trying other measures to break into vehicles.
MacDonald said with the advancement in technology many tips are now called in by the public, who typically have cellphones available to call in any suspicious activity as they see it.
Tips can be reported through 911 or by directly contacting the New Glasgow Regional Police at 902-752-1941.
“When you do shop, make sure you park in a lit area, your vehicle is locked and your valuables are out of sight,” he said “Putting your purchases in the trunk of your vehicle before you leave it, can make the difference of someone becoming a victim or not.”
He said people need to protect themselves against identity theft as well by having purchases safely stored away. Vehicle registration and insurance papers typically in vehicles can be used by thieves to obtain other personal information. The best practice is to keep registration and insurance information on you rather than in a vehicle.
In regard to holiday safety, MacDonald said people should keep track of all their credit and money transactions and if they are leaving their home for the holidays, do not let it be known on any social media site.
Safety and security tips
– Roll up all vehicle windows.
– Don't leave your keys in the vehicle.
– Lock your doors.
– Park in a well-lit area.
– Never leave valuables in plain view.
– Only give one key to a parking lot attendant.
– Keep your registration document and insurance with you, not in your glove compartment.
– Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is running.