Keep gifts safe from thieves during the holidays

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THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - City staff and volunteers are ramping up efforts across the region to remind people to keep their valuables out of sight and to secure their vehicles while shopping for Christmas and during Boxing Day sales.

Every year community safety programs remind the public that the holidays offer prime-time theft opportunities. Staff, volunteers and businesses work together to help educate consumers about the potential risk of theft from vehicles.

"Ultimately, the best practice is to take your parcels out of your vehicle at the earliest opportunity. Thieves are shopping too, so don't make your vehicle a target," Kamloops Crime Prevention Coordinator Sandro Piroddi says. "Our community safety volunteers want you to practice the tips on the cards that are being handed out and have a safe and secure holiday season.”

As we wrap and unwrap gifts we also have to be careful about putting everything on display for thieves.

People getting rid of boxes could also mark themselves for thieves, RCMP have warned. Throwing out boxes for things such as big screen televisions or tools can alert thieves to your home. 

Aside from making sure boxes aren't left out on the curb on full display people should also keep their blinds closed during the day, to remove the threat of thieves window shopping. People should either tear down their boxes before putting them in the recycling bin or they can drop them off at a recycling depot to help reduce the risk.

In addition people should be extra careful while shopping during Boxing Week and New Year sales as well as pre-holiday sales, during which time opportunistic thieves may wait around the entrances to major shopping centres and watch who deposits packages in their vehicle before heading back in for more shopping.

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