Police have noticed an increase in property crime in the Duncan area recently, including thefts from vehicles. They are taking steps to mitigate and respond to those calls, and are asking the public to help reduce opportunities for thieves to strike.
The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP issued the following recommendations to residents:
• Lock vehicle doors all the time, even if parked in a home driveway. Never leave your vehicle unattended if it is running or the keys are in it.
• In public places like street parking or parking lots, make sure to leave your vehicle in a well-lit, open area.
• Consider installing motion sensor lights that will illuminate the area where your vehicle is parked overnight. Bright lights and the opportunity for witnesses to observe or interrupt are deterrents to this sort of crime.
• Remove valuable items, like wallets and purses, sunglasses, and phones, from your car before leaving the vehicle unattended. Cover or hide spare change, charge cords, or garage door openers. Don’t leave wrapped gifts or shopping bags in view. Thieves are looking for an easy target, and will often pass over vehicles if they cannot see anything of value.
• Put away other items from your yard or patio that are visible from the street, to prevent thieves from coming onto property.
“Most importantly, do not put yourself in an unsafe situation if you come across someone committing a crime,” Const. Carlie McCann advised. “If you observe someone committing a property crime at your home, call police. If it safe to do so, consider taking actions like turning on an outside light or activating the remote panic button on keys. Personal health and safety should be a priority over belongings.”