Thefts of vehicles increasing in Kimberley/Cranbrook

Lock your vehicles, secure your valuables, RCMP warns

A vehicle can be badly damaged during an attempted theft.

A vehicle can be badly damaged during an attempted theft.

Both Kimberley and Cranbrook detachments are noting an increase in thefts of vehicles and thefts from vehicles in the past few months.

Cpl. Chris Newel of the Kimberley Detachment says that between the two cities there were 13 vehicles stolen in July and 14 in August. There were also six attempts to steal vehicles in August. Additionally there were 42 thefts of items from vehicles in July, and 40 in August.

Newel says that while the majority of these thefts occurred in Cranbrook, residents of both communities need to be vigilant about securing their vehicles and making sure valuables are removed. And there have been thefts in Kimberley as well, such as a truck taken in Townsite earlier this month which resulted in multiple charges to the driver.

Kimberley RCMP are also following up on the theft of a golf cart.

The golf cart stolen from Bootleg Gap Golf Course on Saturday August 24, was located August 27 in the bush approximately 3.5 km up St. Mary’s Lake Road.  There was damage to the front end, likely a result of suspects attempting to drive it off road, Newel says.

Police often remind residents that the theft of vehicles are often a crime of opportunity. If your vehicle is left unlocked, if there are valuable items visible, it increases the risk of theft.

And small town or not, leaving your keys in the vehicle is an invitation, Newel says.

“People just leave their keys in the ignition, while going in for a coffee and donut or warming up their car in the morning.  Approximately 20 per cent of all stolen cars have keys in them.

Newel offers some tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada:

It’s important to remember that a professional thief can steal your car in about 30 seconds. But there are a few simple precautions that you can take to help make the thief’s target a little harder to reach:

Never leave your vehicle running unattended

Park in well-lit areas.

Always roll up your car windows, lock the doors, pocket and protect your keys.

Never leave valuables or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk.

Park your car in the garage at night