In response to an increase in thefts in the area, the RCMP is urging people to lock up and remove valuables before leaving their vehicles unattended.
The provincial detachment says the Onion Lake, Turtleford and Maidstone areas have received reports of at least one vehicle theft per day within the past week and a half. The RCMP says this is especially significant as it involves several smaller communities.
Many people reporting crimes like this against them let the police know their vehicle may have been unlocked at the time or had their keys inside.
Staff Sargent Ken Burnouf says they don’t want people to fall victim to these crimes of opportunity, explaining that it’s not enough to put vehicle keys, or anything valuable, in a cup holder or behind a visor. It should be removed and the vehicle locked up every time.
He notes the RCMP and the community need the public to take that extra step to help keep their vehicles thereby mitigating crime in the area.
Even something like a garage opener or spare change can make a vehicle a potential target, the RCMP says. Garage door openers are especially important to remove, they explain, as someone who steals this will have access to everything in the garage, and even the home if it’s attached to the garage.
Burnouf adds that stolen vehicles may be connected to other criminal activity, and it’s important to ensure you make a report to the police if your vehicle is stolen.
People can report these crimes to the RCMP by calling them, dialling 911 in an emergency and in the case of certain property crimes, reporting them online.