The High River RCMP detachment is reminding residents to lock their car doors.

They've seen a recent increase in theft from vehicles which, they say, can be easily prevented.

Cst. Jill Kindgon-Mills says ensuring your car is locked can go a long way to prevent these thefts.

"Certainly, people will break into cars even when they are locked, but it's rare... We find that in the middle of the night when things are quiet and it's dark, people will go around and check doors. We don't want anything of high value to be stolen from vehicles but you've also got to think, even if you've got three dollars in the cup holder, if somebody checks ten vehicles and gets three dollars out of all ten vehicles, they've had an okay night. The big thing is, don't create an opportunity for someone to check the vehicle. If it's locked, that would mean they would have to access the vehicle through breaking a window and they don't want to do that because it draws attention. It's a crime of opportunity."

That's not the only way to deter would-be thieves though.

If you've got anything of value in the car, even if you've just left it for a minute, it's best to make sure it's out of sight.

"Make sure you're not leaving valuables in the vehicle. If, for some reason, you have to leave your vehicle and there's something in there a thief might consider valuable, make sure it's out of sight. Secure it in the glove box or the trunk, but only in the short term. Overnight, take everything of value out of your vehicle," says Kindgon-Mills.

She says your choice of a parking spot can help too.

"If you can, park in well-lit areas and areas that are well-travelled with people walking by or driving by often. Thieves don't want to be seen. If you're parked in a well-lit area with people around, you're less likely to become a victim of theft from your vehicle."

Finally, Kindgon-Mills encourages anyone with information on car thefts, even if it's just a location where an incident happened, to report it.

"If it does happen to you, please let the RCMP know. If we know about it; it helps us direct our patrols, it lets us know what's going on in the community so we can look out for people or descriptions of people, or just change out patrols a bit. Information is really important to us."


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