People who steal property from other people’s vehicles can be accused of Theft, under Section 334 of the Criminal Code, but it’s not likely they’ll ever be accused of consideration, or compassion, for the property owner. You will NEVER hear a thief say:
– “The owner likely wants to keep all this stuff they left in the car so I’d better leave it be.”
– “There are valuables here; I’d better move on to an empty car.”
– “Too bad this window is glass, there’s just no way to get to this stuff.”
– “Sure, I can have all this stuff for free, but what about the trouble for the owner?”
– “They don’t expect anybody to break in to their car so I won’t break in; I only target victims that expect it.”
The Regina Police Service is reminding Regina vehicle owners to practice good crime prevention strategies to prevent theft from auto. These two key crime prevention strategies prevent the majority of thefts from autos:
1. Remove all valuables from your vehicle.
2. Lock your vehicle.
Record-keeping and analysis of crime trends shows that, during the week of January 27th to February 3rd there were twenty-nine (29) reported cases of theft from an automobile in Regina. In many of these cases, the vehicles were left unlocked with valuables in plain view.
Too often, people assume that a) no one would steal from their vehicle or b) there is nothing worth taking. In police interviews of suspects, who are subsequently charged with theft from auto, the culprits often state that they simply try the doors of vehicles parked on the street; if a vehicle door is left unlocked they steal whatever is left inside, even if it is a CD or a handful of change. In some cases, the “valuable” is a garage door opener; this scenario can lead to a suspect having access to the garage and its contents – or even the house, through an adjoining door. Perhaps the “valuable” is a set of keys to a second family vehicle, which leads to the theft of that vehicle. Both scenarios lead to victimization, expense and tremendous anxiety for the property owner. In other cases, the vehicle may be locked, but something of value is left in plain view, leading to the suspect smashing a window to commit the theft.
Many incidents of theft from auto are easily preventable. Always take your valuables from the vehicle and lock the doors. Follow the same strategy of locking doors behind you when you enter your house or garage. Report suspicious activity in your neighbourhood to police, by calling 306-777-6500. If you see a crime in progress, or in an emergency, call 9-1-1; keep yourself safe, but try to get a description of suspects or suspect vehicles.
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