WHALLEY â€“ Volunteers of the Surrey RCMP and Surrey Crime Prevention Society were on hand at Central City Shopping Centre handing out club steering-wheel locks on Thursday (Nov. 6) in anticipation of the holiday season.
The RCMP along with SCPS, City of Surrey and ICBC are teaming up again this year for the Protect It. Lock It. Keep It. campaign.
With more traffic heading to shopping centres over the coming weeks, the team plans to educate residents on protecting their vehicles and anything left inside of them.
â€œWe are pleased to support this campaign which targets a specific property crime that we see a distinct increase in at this time of year,â€ Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge C/Supt. Bill Fordy said in a release. â€œTogether with our enforcement efforts, a number of simple preventive steps can go a long way in reducing its prevalence.â€
Rupinder Bal, a volunteer with the Surrey RCMP, said the team handed out around 100 club steering-wheel locks at the mall.
â€œOverall, people are going to be shopping a lot. More than they would do for the rest of the year. We really want their cars to be safe, their belongings to be safe,â€ she said.
Over the past two years, Surrey RCMP statistics indicate the last quarter of every year has had the most number of auto thefts and stolen property from a vehicle compared to every other quarter of the year.
For 2012 and 2013, the final quarter was the only time when there were over 2,000 thefts from vehicles. In both years, it reached over 2,200 incidents.
RCMP and SCPC volunteers will also conduct daily parking lot audits checking for stolen vehicles using a mobile app that allows them to enter licence plates to cross-reference any stolen vehicles.
The release mentioned some of the most notable things stolen from vehicles are smart phones, personal electronics, work tools, credit cards and identification, and stereo equipment.
The team will be handing out more steering-wheel locks at Guildford Town Centre on Nov. 29.