You may not have seen the flyer, but the word is out. Did you know that Regina neighbourhoods are open for Late Night “Shopping”? And merchandise is flying off the “shelves”…well, actually they’re cars, not shelves and the merchandise is anything that can be stolen (change, cigarettes, sunglasses, phones, wallets, tablets, laptops, etc.). Oh, and the “shoppers” are criminals, committing thefts, lots of thefts.
In the weekly crime trends analysis meeting of the Regina Police Service, analysts have noted that, during the week of May 10-17, 2016, there were 86 occurrences of Theft from Auto, bringing the year-to-date total to 674 occurrences, which is up 20% percent from this time last year. These thefts are happening all over the city, many of them occurring at night in residential neighbourhoods. Some trends noted:
– Some vehicles are unlocked; others are locked but have valuables in plain sight, prompting the thief to smash a window, often the passenger-side, front window.
– Items stolen include cash, change, cigarettes, bags, backpacks, iPods.
– Often, no witnesses to the crimes; often late-night, early-morning hours. No suspect descriptions.
The fact that residents are sleeping through these events lends credibility to the theory that the perpetrators may be on bicycles, or walking through neighbourhoods and stealing items that can fit easily into a backpack or pockets.
Residents are urged to remove valuables from vehicles. Even a handful of coins, combined with ten other handfuls, can be sufficient temptation for a thief and the damage to vehicles can cost hundreds of dollars per victim. Use devices like bright lights with motion sensors to discourage perpetrators from approaching your vehicles parked on your driveway. Always, take the time to lock and secure your property. The Regina Police Service thanks the public for their attention to crime prevention in our city.