Nanaimo RCMP are offering holiday-season tips to try to thwart thieves from ruining Christmas. (Stock photo)

Island RCMP offer how-to on keeping thieves from ruining Christmas

Police put out public service announcement offering crime prevention tips

The holiday season is a busy time of the year for everyone, including criminals.

Property-related offences rise significantly during December, but many of the crimes committed are considered crimes of opportunity and are preventable by applying a few Vancouver Island RCMP crime prevention tips.

Criminals are on the prowl and they’re looking to pick low-hanging fruit, said the RCMP in a press release. Police suggest residents lock up everything, including windows, doors – including the garage side-doors, which are often overlooked – and sheds.

Bicycles are a hot commodity with thieves and should be locked and registered with the 529 Garage app.

Get to know who belongs in your neighbourhood, say police. Criminals often find their next targets by going through neighbourhoods on foot or in a vehicle, looking for homes on properties without fences and making note of ones that look unkempt, have no security or floodlights, and especially, no signs of a dog. Thieves will also watch to see which vehicles leave in the morning, when home owners return at the end of the day, and who the dog walkers are. RCMP advise closing blinds at night so prowlers don’t know what’s in the house or possibly under the Christmas tree, and setting alarms in homes that have them.

Simply saying hello or waving might be enough to have thieves move on, say police. An odd reaction or no reaction at all from a stranger to a greeting is part of the information about a suspicious person or activity that can be shared by neighbours.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo mechanical engineer writes thief tracking program

READ ALSO: Crime incidents on the rise in Nanaimo

RCMP also offered some general advice for citizens out and about doing holiday shopping and errands. Holiday shopping in busy malls can be daunting, but not for criminals waiting for opportunities to steal gifts, PIN numbers, break into vehicles or get their hands on whatever they can get away with, police say.

Before parking a vehicle at a mall or store, take a moment to look around, RCMP advise. If someone is sitting in a nearby vehicle who seems to be interested and it causes discomfort, move on to another parking spot, police say, adding that shoppers shouldn’t leave anything of value in vehicles. Unlocked vehicles account for 50 per cent of all break-ins, the police press release notes, so parcels should be discreetly placed in the vehicle’s trunk.

RCMP note that consumers should be wary when using credit cards as criminals like to stand close by to pick off PIN numbers. Police remind shoppers to always conceal PIN numbers and to be careful about discarding receipts in waste bins.

Women should make sure purses are secured when not in use and for men, wallets in back pockets can be accessible to pickpockets.

Never leave gifts in vehicles after returning home, police say. In Nanaimo criminals have watched as purchases were made, then followed unsuspecting targets to their homes, watched to see if the purchased items stayed in vehicles and then later broke into the car, say RCMP.

Anyone with information on individuals involved in crime in the community is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

READ ALSO: Crime on the rise in north Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Business community reports to city council on impacts of social disorder in Nanaimo



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

A monument was unveiled during a ceremony in Tofino last week honouring Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. The monument will be placed on Hwy. 4 near Kennedy Lake. (Photo courtesy of Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC)
In the line of duty: Remembering two beloved Vancouver Island paramedics

Sombre ceremony held in Tofino to mark 10th anniversary of fatal Kennedy Lake ambulance crash

Adam Ireton holds his son Weston, along with Kristen and Beckett as they celebrate Weston's last day of treatment for lukemia. (Kristen Ireton photo)
799 days: ‘Super’ Weston defeats cancer

North Island kid celebrating the end of a battle that has taken up the bulk of his life

Artists, activists and supporters stand at the ‘More Justice, More Peace’ mural in Victoria’s Bastion Square after the letter ‘S’ was painted over in black. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
ACAB removed from Victoria’s More Justice, More Peace mural

New message points to VicPD, City of Victoria for silencing BIPOC voices

(file)
Province rejects Parksville needle bylaw as counter-productive to health and safety

Mayor says he fails to understand the logic against proposed limits on hypodermic distribution

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, Jason Klughart, 28, was arrested at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday at Port Place Shopping Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
RCMP officer and security guard team up to detain suspect after chase in downtown Nanaimo

Jason Klughart arrested on outstanding warrant for possession of stolen property

Victoria police are asking for people's help identifying the suspect of a sexual assault that occurred early Oct. 29. (Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD searching for suspect in sexual assault incident

A woman was sexually assaulted at the 800-block of Cormorant Street just before 4 a.m. Oct. 29

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

This house in the 600-block of Linden Avenue in Fairfield has a Día de Muertos theme for 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Haunted Oak Bay

Residents spookify houses

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #91 in Langford, stands by a wall of plaques commemorating veterans during the Legion’s 90th anniversary in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Plans for new Legion in Langford include low-cost housing for seniors

Project could be before council in early 2021

Sites are being considered for a new pipe that will see treated effluent from the Joint Utilities Board’s sewage treatment plant near Duncan diverted away from the Cowichan River and Cowichan estuary (pictured) to an outflow site in Satellite Channel. (File photo)
Possible routes identified for new Cowichan sewage pipe

Public input will be sought in decision

Most Read