A rash of vehicle break-ins has led the Southern Alberta District RCMP to warn residents to lock their vehicles.
According to the release, various detachments in Southern Alberta "have noticed an unfortunate trend" of vehicles being broken into that are not believed to have been secured.
"RCMP is advising the public to ensure their vehicles are locked, and valuables removed," the release stated. "It is also recommended that garage door openers be removed from vehicles."
According to police, a review of July thefts from motor vehicles found 39 of 47 incidents in Airdrie and eight of 14 complaints in Cochrane, were for vehicles left unlocked or the owner was uncertain if it was locked.
"Most alarming is that in Cochrane, there have been four reported break and enters to garages as a result of garage door openers being stolen from vehicles," the release stated.
Most thefts are crimes of opportunity, according to police, which means the criminal is looking for unlocked vehicles or houses where they can easily steal property.
"By removing valuables from vehicles and by locking cars and homes, we remove the opportunity and most criminals will then move on to easier pickings," the release stated.
RCMP reccomends all residents complete a #9PMRoutine, by removing valuables – including items that might appear to be a temptation, such as papers or bags – from the vehicle, before locking the doors and fully closing all windows. Ensure garage doors and windows are closed and lock any person-doors in the garage, including those leading into the home. Check that all house doors – front, back, side and garage – are locked and windows are shut. Finally, RCMP suggests turning on an exterior light.As always, RCMP asks anyone who witnesses suspicious or criminal activity to call police right away.