How to keep what you buy for Christmas

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KELOWNA - With holiday shopping comes the RCMP Citizen Patrol who will be out in full force to monitor mall parking lots, dissuading thieves as they look for easy pickings.

Starting today, the citizen patrol along with the Auxilliary Constable Volunteers will be all over the city watching out for suspicious characters attempting to steal holiday bounty from parked cars.

The initiative has been in play for more than a decade, with volunteers patrolling lots throughout the afternoons and evenings. This year volunteers donating as many as 600 person-hours will wrap up their patrols Dec. 22.

Not relying on the patrol to keep purchases safe is preferable, and the RCMP recommends:

* Parking in well-lit areas and avoiding shopping alone when possible.
* Locking vehicles and not leaving packages or other valuables in public view. Instead, lock them in the trunk if possible or take them home.
* Not buying more than can be carried comfortably, having keys in hand while approaching your vehicle.
* Staying alert to surroundings, reporting suspicious activity to police.

Anyone interesting in exploring volunteer opportunities with the RCMP are encouraged to visit one of the RCMP’s Community Policing Offices or contact Garth Letcher, Community Policing Coordinator at 250-470-6339.

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