Thefts from vehicles spike when the weather warms, Greater Trail police remind drivers to lock their car doors and don’t leave valuables in plain site. (Black Press file photo)

Summer, hottest time of year for theft – 13 thefts reported in Warfield

Theft from vehicles and other opportunity crimes spike as weather warms, warn police.

Updated Friday, 1:30 p.m.

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Again, police are reminding people to lock their vehicles up because warm weather brings a rise in the number of theft from cars.

On Friday, Cpl. Devon Reid issued a news release following thefts from cars in Warfield.

As Cpl. Darryl Orr said to the Trail Times earlier this week, “Car locks are like seat belts – they only work if you use them!”

On June 2, 2017, Trail RCMP received 13 reports of theft from unoccupied motor vehicles in the Warfield area. In each case, police were advised that the target vehicles had been left unlocked. The items stolen ranged from small amounts of money to personal electronics and tools.

Also in the Warfield area, a truck was stolen from the carport of a residence.

“In this case, the home was left unlocked and the truck keys were left just inside the door,” said Reid. “So the culprit(s) opened the door to the home, removed the keys and then drove away in the truck.”

Police are actively investigating these occurrences and are following up on several leads at this time.

If anyone has information related to these offences, they are encouraged to contact the Trail RCMP or Crimestoppers.

As a preventative measure, Trail RCMP would like to remind people to lock their vehicles and remove any valuable items from the vehicle before leaving the vehicle parked.

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Wednesday May 31

It’s the hottest time of year for thieves to start looking for easy pickings in cars.

So Greater Trail police are again reminding drivers to take part in crime prevention by locking vehicle doors and removing valuables from plain sight.

“We have the usual change-of-season theft from motor vehicles,” says RCMP Cpl. Darryl Orr. “During the winter time, they aren’t skulking around as much because it’s cold – but it’s the same old story every year,” he warned.

“It’s like reading the same book or seeing the same movie over and over, there’s definitely a spike in this type of opportunity crime when it’s warmer out at night – and door locks are like seat belts, they are no good if you don’t use them.”

This specific crime occurs throughout the city, however perpetrators do tend to target streets in East Trail and last year, Miral Heights.

“They are just like fishermen, they go where the fishing is good,” said Orr. “But we still have people that don’t realize this is a crime of opportunity and the community has to help out with basic stuff, like locking doors.”

Orr says the crime is rarely smash-and-grab in residential neighbourhoods – thieves do not want to draw unwanted attention.

“The amount of times that we investigate theft from a motor vehicle involving the smashing of a window to gain entry is probably around one in 1,000,” he said. “What they’ll do is walk up and down streets and try the doors of all the cars.

“The ones that are open, they will look through, the ones that aren’t they will just walk by.”

If the vehicle is locked and the only way to get in is smashing a window, generally the thief will just keep walking on to an easy opportunity to be quiet and not rouse suspicion, Orr emphasized.

“So there has to be responsibility from the public to do at least the minimal things, lock your car doors and do not leave personal belongings and electronics on the front seat of your car.”

Besides the recent string of thefts from cars, the Trail detachment did receive one report of a break and enter over the weekend.

While not every crime is preventable of course, there are certain measures aside from locking all doors and windows that residents can take if they are packing up and going away for the weekend.

“The biggest things are simple little things, especially in a small community like we are,” said Orr. “Leave your exterior lights on or an interior light to mimic that someone is home; don’t leave mail to pile up; and don’t leave your garbage cans out,” he advised.

“People look for stuff like that,” he added.

“And communicate with your neighbours, let them know that you are gone … (burglars) are going for an easy mark, they don’t want trouble, so don’t have your house looking like nobody is there.”

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