The Comox Valley RCMP has seen the reports of theft from vehicles skyrocket this year, in comparison with the same time frame of last year.
“We are experiencing a staggering increase in thefts from vehicles, up 167 per cent in comparison from last year to this year,” stated Comox Valley RCMP Inspector Tim Walton. “We have our teams working on this, but we can certainly use the public’s assistance to help combat this very preventable crime. How can you help? Simply locking the vehicle doors and not leaving anything of value, or interest in plain view.”
Police noted just over 90 per cent of thefts occurred in vehicles that have been left unlocked, in some instances overnight and others just for a short period.
In most cases, the criminal will try the vehicle door, if it opens, they will help themselves to anything they can easily use or sell. If the door is locked, chances are they will continue onto the next vehicle and try again.
The only variable that generally changes this behaviour, is if there is something of value that can be seen, then an attempt to physically break into the vehicle is more than likely. The most common items stolen recently include, change, cellphones, GPS and satellite radio units, wallets and the vehicle itself, or even a second vehicle in the driveway, as keys are regularly left in vehicles.
“People need to understand the hassle that having your wallet stolen is. Not only do you have to replace your ID and cancel your credit cards, but by the time you wake up in the morning, your credit cards can be maxed out, and if your debit card has the tap feature, your bank account could be empty”, stated Cst Rob Gardner, Comox Valley RCMP Media Relations Officer. “Having a vehicle stolen causes a list of preventable headaches as well.”
If you see anything suspicious, or if you have been a victim of this crime, please contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321. This information can be entered on a Crime Map and these crime trends can be followed. You are not bothering the RCMP with these reports. You may even help prevent another person from being a victim.