Grande Prairie Crime Prevention is doing another blitz with enforcement services and RCMP as part of their GP Help End Auto Theft campaign. Friday and Saturday, members and volunteers in reflective vests will again be out in retail and residential areas grading vehicles on how much of a target they are for thieves.
Coordinator Cheryl George says they’re looking at whether doors are left unlocked, personal belongings are left in plain view, or a garage door opener is left inside. A potential thief could steal the opener, and then follow a driver home to see where they live.
The team won’t be touching the vehicles, other than to leave a note under their windshield. Every vehicle in the area will get graded and the results will be left upside down, along with information on distracted driving. Some of the tips on preventing auto theft include:
• Ensure vehicles are locked and windows closed.
• Never leave keys in your vehicle.
• Remove valuables from vehicles or move from plain sight (phones, tablets, laptops, GPS, gifts,
currency, wallets, purses).
• Park in well-lit, highly visible areas.
• If you have a garage, use it. Keep the garage door opener with you if possible.
• Report suspicious behaviour to police.
George adds that unlocked vehicles and open windows make them an easy target. She says recent stats show that while vehicle thefts are down in Grande Prairie, thefts from vehicles are up.
This is the 3rd GP HEAT blitz since the program launched in December 2016. Of the 750 notices written in the first blitz, 41 per cent of vehicles were considered “easy targets for thieves.”