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Lock it or lose it: Theft from vehicles on the rise in Kelowna

RCMP crime prevention unit and the City of Kelowna have intalled warning decals to parking meters around downtown Kelowna warning residents to keep their belongings safe.
August 31, 2015 - 2:25 PM

KELOWNA – While thefts of vehicles are down in Kelowna this year compared to last, thefts from vehicles are up and RCMP are reminding residents to lock it or lose it.

Community Policing Coordinator Colleen Cornock says the local RCMP crime prevention unit have developed a new campaign aimed at raising awareness about thefts from vehicles after the number of reports in 2015 has outpaced the previous two years.

In 2013 there were 1,286 reports of items being taken from vehicles in Kelowna between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30. In 2014 there were 1,280 but this year there have been 1,350 reported instances.

Many of those thefts, Cornock says, are completely avoidable.

“More than one quarter of thefts of contents is from unlocked vehicles,” she says.

To help bring the numbers back down, the RCMP have unveiled a new campaign meant to remind people of the threat.

“Always lock your vehicle regarless of how short a time you are gone,” she says, adding that the majority of the thefts reported happened in the downtown area.

She also suggests owners leave nothing in their vehicles and to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour.

RCMP have also affixed decals to parking meters in the downtown area reminding drivers not to be an easy target.

The decals are on all major pay parking booths but that’s not the extent of the campaign. The crime prevention unit will also be out in the community handing out gum with the information printed on the package and will be posting to social media over the coming month.

Connock says the vast majority of thefts from vehicles are not solved by RCMP so it is up to the public to ensure their belongings remain in their possession.

“It’s generally quite unlikely they will be caught,” she says. “Most happen in middle of night with no witnesses.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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