With presents under the tree and unwrapped gifts left in vehicles, the holiday season is an alluring target for thieves.
Vancouver Island police officers don’t want you to fall victim.
Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur offers this advice to help prevent crime from happening over the holidays.
To keep your home safe:
• Lock doors and windows
• Have a monitored alarm system
• Have good exterior lighting
• Reduce obstructions in front of or near entry ways (bushes)
• Get a watch dog
If you are away …
• Leave a light on in your house
• Tell people you are leaving
• Join neighbourhood watch
• Have someone check on your house
• Keep your blinds closed
• Keep valuables out of sight
• Take photographs of valuables and their serial numbers to help police track them down if stolen
To keep your car safe:
• Lock the vehicle
• Don’t leave valuables in sight
• If Christmas shopping, try to plan to get presents home without making too many stops
• Carry a blanket with you to cover up valuables
• Leave vehicle in well illuminated areas
• Have a car alarm
If your home or car does happen to get broken in to, be sure to call the police as soon as possible and do not tamper with the scene. This will help the RCMP determine what happened, what was stolen, as well as catch the thief.
McArthur suggests everyone join Neighbourhood Watch (available in many Island communities, contact your local detachment), to ensure better safety within the community and prevent petty crimes.
Neighbourhood Watch has just recently started up in Sooke and the RCMP is looking for volunteers and organizers.
To join or find out more about neighbourhood watch, please contact Const. Sam Haldane at the Sooke detachment at 250-642-5241.