July 22, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Kamloops RCMP want the public to know who easy they are making it for thieves to break into cars.
Police spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie took a group of local reporters on a walk in downtown Kamloops on July 21 to show what thieves may be after when they are looking to break into a vehicle. With the the help of two downtown Customer Care and Patrol members, she showed the mistakes drivers make when leaving their vehicles and what items in cars might be of value to thieves.
“Many people leave lots of valuables in their vehicles,” she says. “Things like computers and wallets and sporting equipment.”
As a proof of theory, Shlekie took the group to the parkade near Seymour Street and Second Avenue to check cars, and one was found with the backdoor unlocked, no alarm and a backpack inside.
She says many vehicles are left unlocked in Kamloops, and around four out of five thefts from vehicles happen because someone forgot to lock a door. Before leaving the vehicle, Shelkie locked the car's door.
While unlocked vehicles make up the vast majority of the city’s vehicle thefts, the sight of valuables could lead a thief to smash a window.
“Even if it’s locked someone’s going to maybe take a brick or rock and break that window to take valuables if they see them,” she says.
However, it's not just valuables that could grab someone's attention, as Shelkie pointed out blank envelopes may contain cash or dirty gym bags might hold wallets. Smaller items are often grabbed as well, like cigarettes or loose change.
Kamloops police deal with eight to 10 vehicle break-ins every day she says with most happening at night. While one might expect the downtown core to be a popular site, she say neighbourhoods, even on the outskirts of the city, can be hit as well.
Shelkie says people can have a false sense of security in their own neighbourhoods.
“You need to lock (your vehicle) even at your home in a residential area," she says, adding thieves don't need a high level of sophistication to look for an unlocked vehicle.
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