Police advise people to lock their vehicles, remove valuables from vehicles and park in well-travelled areas. (Black Press Media file photo)

VicPD volunteers check more than 16,000 vehicles in effort to stop thefts

Police report increase in theft from vehicle reports in last six months

From mid-June to early November of this year Victoria Police Crime Watch volunteers conducted checks on 16,757 vehicles in Victoria and Esquimalt as part of a combined effort to combat an increase in thefts of valuables from vehicles.

“Prolific property thieves will spot valuables left in a vehicle, whether it be a cell phone, change in a cup holder or a laptop left under a jacket in the back seat. They’ll smash a window in seconds,” said VicPD Const. Matt Rutherford. “By reminding people to take their valuables with them, our Crime Watch volunteers are an invaluable resource in helping stop these crimes before they can occur.”

READ ALSO: Victoria Police see 45 per cent increase in thefts from cars since last year

VicPD, supported by ICBC, uses a program called Lock Out Auto Crime to help lessen the number of thefts from vehicles. VicPD Reserve constables and Crime Watch volunteers patrol and leave notices on vehicles, reminding owners to lock up and leave valuables out of sight.

According to police, there has been an increase in theft from vehicle reports over the last six months so volunteer responses to heavily hit neighbourhoods has been a key tactic to reduce these crimes.

“Our Crime Watch volunteers take real pride in the work they are doing to help keep Victoria and Esquimalt safe, and rightfully so,” said volunteer program coordinator Tara Gilroy-Scott. “Our volunteers give their time and talents to help augment our ranks and are a cornerstone of our combined response to crime trends.”

READ ALSO: Oak Bay vehicle thefts triple in 2018

Some tips from VicPD to prevent auto crime:

– Park in a safe spot in well-travelled, well-lit areas.

– Secure your car by locking it, rolling up the windows, closing the sunroof and not leaving the spare key in the vehicle.

– Remove valuables like electronics, change or keys; conceal garage door openers and put items you can’t take with you in the trunk.

– Use an anti-theft device like steering wheel locks and activate the vehicle’s alarm if it has one.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read