If you see a piece of paper on your windshield don’t panic, it may not be a ticket. Over the next two days, members of the RCMP, Crime Prevention and Enforcement Services will be checking vehicles in parking lots across the city as part of the Grande Prairie Help End Auto Theft program, also known as GP HEAT.
Constable Candice Hrdlicka says volunteers will be looking inside vehicles and ranking them hard or easy targets for break-ins.
“We go car to car and observe unoccupied vehicles to see if they are unlocked, if valuables are left inside, keys inside in an attempt to educate the public as to things they can do to help prevent auto theft and theft of their items.”
The GP Heat program runs a few times a year and volunteers are sent out to specific locations where RCMP say they see a high number of vehicle break-ins and thefts.
On the first day of the program, Hrdlicka says she’s pleased with what she’s seen while walking the Eastlink Centre parking lot.
“We’re observing most vehicles are hard targets; the windows are up, doors are locked, very little valuables being seen inside the vehicles, so that’s great.”
Despite that, she adds they are still seeing things that shouldn’t be left out in the open.
“We are observing some valuables, GPS systems, radios, cameras, mail and the mail’s often facing up so you can actually read who it belongs to with address and names.”
Tips to help protect vehicles from theft include never leaving keys in the vehicle, always try to park in a well-lit area, and always report suspicious behaviour to police. This round of the program runs until August 21st.