On Jan. 19th, Red Deer RCMP and eight Red Deer Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteers at Westerner Park did visual inspections on 500 vehicles during a Red Deer Rebels game as part of the ongoing “Lock it or Lose it” public education campaign; volunteers did not try doors or touch vehicles, other than to leave a report card at the vehicle, flagging temptations that might encourage a thief to break into the vehicle or try to steal it.
Constable Sean Morris of the Red Deer RCMP says police and volunteers were pleased with the overall results this time around, as 50% of vehicles checked received a thumbs up for the care drivers took to protect themselves from crime. For the first time in the Lock it or Lose it campaign, none of the vehicles checked had visible keys left inside. In a December campaign, only 12% of the vehicles checked received that thumbs up, and four had keys visible inside.
During the Jan. 19th checks, 43 vehicles still had possessions or cash in plain view, 23 had visible electronics, and 154 had a garage door opener in plain view. Five had windows left open.
“It’s a constant education process. People express concern about property crime, but every day police receive reports of numerous preventable crimes – it’s a constant struggle against an “it won’t happen to me” attitude,” said Morris. “The results of Lock it of Lose it this month are encouraging, and we continue to remind citizens how important it is to take those extra few seconds to protect their possessions every single time they leave their vehicle.”
Vehicle owners also got helpful reminders about expired or soon-to-expire registration, and had issues flagged such as cracked windshields or a note that the vehicle appeared to have been left unlocked.
The Lock it or Lose it campaign is part of ongoing crime reduction work by Red Deer RCMP and local crime prevention agencies to educate Red Deerians about ways they can avoid being victims of crime. Red Deer RCMP and COP conducted four Lock it or Lose it events in 2017; the Jan. 19th event was the first in a series of Lock it or Lose it checks planned for 2018.