RCMP News Article – Car Prowling

Car Prowling- the quiet theft.

Imagine this scenario.  You get up to go to work, and as you get into your vehicle you notice certain things are out of place.  Or you were sure you still had change in the cup holder.  Or you can’t find your sunglasses.  And all of a sudden it hits you that you were the victim of a theft.   It’s a violation of your private space and is an increasing crime that happens all the time.  So what can you do to prevent this from happening?

Firstly, is to remove all valuables from your vehicle.  More often than not if a car prowler sees nothing of interest they may pass on yours.  It is a simple way to make your vehicle less appealing.  This means everything from loose change to the GPS, cell phone, laptop computer or anything that would have some sort of value and is easily carried or taken.

Second, lock your doors and windows of your vehicle.  Believe it or not most times the victims of this type of crime have left their vehicles unlocked and as noted above they don’t notice until the victim tries to find something and notices it gone.

Park in a well lit area or use a motion sensor light.  Thieves do not want to draw attention to themselves.  This means if there is the potential they may get caught (a light going on) they may avoid that particular area.  What helps with this is if the light can be noticed from a bedroom window during the night this would assist.

Use of a vehicle alarm.  Most people these days when they hear a car alarm tend to ignore it.  However if you are vigilant with your own property and know it is activated it may be the opportunity for you to know when someone is messing with your property.

What can you do to assist the Police?

The basic truth is that the Police cannot be everywhere.  We need the Public to report when crime is taking place.  This means if you are the victim of this type of crime we as the Police need to know, and I will explain why.  When we receive a complaint, this generates a file.  What that file does is document a crime happening in a certain area.  If it is identified that there is a problem within a certain area, Police can focus on where the crime is happening and make directed efforts towards resolving an issue in that particular area.  But we need the Public’s assistance.

If you notice you are the victim of this type of theft, please call the Police.  If you notice suspicious activity or people checking car doors, please call and report it.  We want to know what is happening in your communities and the best resource we can call on is the Public.

Yours in Service,
Sgt. M.F. Callihoo, Detachment Commander, Lethbridge RCMP

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