With vehicle thefts, and smash and grab crimes on the rise around Central Alberta, a volunteer group in Red Deer is starting a campaign offering up some tips to make your vehicle a less attractive target for thieves.
Red Deer Citizens on Patrol and the RCMP are launching a campaign called "Lock it, or Lose it"
Volunteers will be patroling public parking lots, checking out vehicles to assess their crime risk, and offer up some tips to make your vehicle a less attractive target for thieves.
Constable Sean Morris says to keep your vehicle parked in a busy area where many people can see you vehicle, and take valuables out.
"I know some people will get out of their vehicles and put things in their trunk. I recommend not doing that though, at least not where you're going to be parking because there are people watching. So if you are going to put things in the trunk, plan ahead or do it before you park. Because we want to stay safe."
Citizens on Patrol will be looking at vehicles, not touching them, then leaving a checklist on your windshield, suggesting things like hiding valuables, locking doors, or parking in busy areas where your vehicle is seen by many people.
Morris says these volunteers are incredibly valuable, allowing police to focus on catching the criminals.
"They want to keep their community safe, by doing their little areas. They go out in the community to be the eyes and ears of the RCMP. That way if we're looking for an individual or a certain vehicle they might spot it. So they're out there helping us so we can divert important resources elsewhere when needed.
Morris says Officers and the Volunteers working on the campaign will be highly visable, and have no problem chatting or answering your questions.