Police warn of rise in vehicle break-ins

Mission RCMP are noticing Volkswagen being targeted more frequently

Thefts from vehicles have seen a solid uptick since last quarter, prompting a warning from Mission RCMP.

According to Sgt. Shaun Wright, 201 vehicle break-ins were recorded in this past quarter (January to March), up from 169 the previous three months.

In particular, Volkswagens are being targeted, he noted. And while the incidents have been recorded throughout the community, there was a concentration of reports coming from the 12 Avenue and Hughes Terrace area.

The thieves are generally stealing items of little worth, but are causing hundreds of dollars of damage to the vehicles.

Here are some tips provided by the police to lessen your chances of being victimized:

• Remove all items from your vehicle, even if you will only be gone for a few minutes. It only takes a few seconds to break into your vehicle. Thieves will break in for as little as a few coins or a cigarette lighter. If you must leave items in your vehicle, secure them in the trunk as many thieves routinely check the glove box and under the seat for hidden items.

• Park smart. Always lock your vehicle when leaving it unattended. If you have a garage, use it all the time when parking at home. If you have to park outside, park in an open area with good lighting.

• Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle when parking outside. Thieves will often break into vehicles to open the owner’s garage with the door opener from inside the vehicle.

• Use a steering wheel lock every time you park your vehicle.

• Secure your licence plates with bolts. Criminals commonly steal licence plates and use them to avoid being identified while committing other crimes. Securing your licence plate with a bolt will make them more secure than using common screws which can quickly and easily be removed.

• Report suspicious activity while it is happening. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious contact police. Try to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle (including licence plate). Do not confront the suspects.