West Vancouver police are warning drivers to take valuables with them when they park after investigators reported a spike in the number of thefts from cars in the community.
Over a six-week period starting May 1, residents reported 17 incidents to police, most of them clustered in the British Properties and Sentinel Hill neighbourhoods. The culprits have been entering cars primarily through unlocked doors and making off with whatever valuables are in sight.
“It is clear that we have someone, or a group of people, targeting this area,” said Cst. Lisa Schmidtke. “As a result, the West Vancouver Police have increased overnight patrols in the area, deployed bait cars and passed out flyers to residents warning them of the thefts.”
Thieves are attracted especially to change, expensive sunglasses, iPods, GPS systems and other electronics, according to investigators.
It is important that residents take responsibility to make sure they’re vehicles aren’t easy targets, said Schmidtke. First and foremost is making sure cars are locked and without any valuables in them, and car alarms should be armed whenever cars are parked overnight, she said.
As the summer months approach, drivers who deliberately leave their windows open or tops down on their convertibles should be extra mindful not to leave anything tempting inside, Schmidtke added.
“If there is nothing to steal, these thieves will move to a more lucrative area,” she said.
Theft from auto has been a growing concern for police across the Lower Mainland in recent years.
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