Saskatchewan RCMP are reporting on vehicle thefts in the province for 2021.
Police indicate they had 1,519 vehicle theft files on record from January 1st – December 31st last year.
They say 451 or just about 29% revealed that the keys were left in the vehicle.
Police recovered 1,095 of these vehicles. That’s about 72% of the total. They say the vehicles were recovered minutes, hours, days or even months later.
Of the recovered vehicles, 368 were damaged in some way including being burned, stripped of parts or involved in a collision. Police noted that smaller vehicles, which could be loaded onto a trailer or into a truck (such as ATVs or motorcycles), had a lower recovery rate than cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Police point out it is important to always take the keys or key fob with you when you leave the vehicle.
They advise of the following:
- Remember to remove all valuable items from your vehicle whenever possible, including tools, bank cards, and personal identification as these can encourage additional criminal activity
- Remove garage door openers from vehicles which may allow someone access to your home
- Do not leave keys in the vehicle when you run out of fuel on the road. Someone else might come by with a jerry can of fuel and help themselves to your vehicle.
Police caution against the habit of leaving vehicles running with keys inside as people warm them up. They advise that the brief moment of going back into their home or a store, could be the chance that allows their vehicle to be stolen.