Surrey Crime Prevention Membership Coordinator Jennifer Samuel and volunteer Dirk Pinto place a crime prevention Notice on the windshield of a vehicle at the Surrey Sports and Leisure complex Tuesday morning.

Campaign launched to prevent theft from cars

Surrey Mounties and crime prevention volunteers are auditing parked cars for valuables that could attract thieves.

Over the last month in Surrey, 30,000 vehicles were checked out to see if they contained valuables.

However, criminals weren’t the ones shopping for things to steal, Mounties and Surrey Crime Prevention volunteers were making sure the cars were safe from would-be crooks.

In all, the teams handed out 10,000 notices to people leaving valuables in their cars.

The most common items found in plain view in vehicles were bags, backpacks or purses, followed by sunglasses and electronic devices.

The most surprising items left in vehicles were two sets of keys in the ignition at one particular location.

The results are from the first month of a program called “Protect It, Lock It, Keep It.”

“I am very proud of this campaign because it empowers our volunteers, officers, and citizens to have a direct impact on the number of thefts from vehicles and thefts of vehicles,” said Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge Chief Supt. Bill Fordy.

“To me, one of the most powerful things we can equip our residents with is the knowledge on how to keep themselves and their families safe.”

The “Protect It, Lock It, Keep It” campaign runs until Dec. 2 and is focused on making people more conscious about securing their vehicles and ensuring they protect, lock, and keep their valuables out of their cars.

Although auto crime has been on a general decline over the past decade, police often see a spike during this time of year.

Free steering wheel locks are also being made available to residents who drive older-model vehicles (older than 2000) that are desired targets for car thieves. They are available at any Surrey community policing station or the Surrey Crime Prevention office – #15-12484 82 Ave.

Vehicle crimes are often crimes of opportunity that can be prevented. For information and tips on protecting your vehicle and belongings visit the Surrey RCMP at http://bit.ly/Hr3JlB

Surrey North Delta Leader

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