Nothing brings a thief more joy than a car full of shopping bags and gifts. Most thefts from vehicles are crimes of opportunity and can be prevented.
To help prevent car prowlings during the holiday season, the Calgary Police Service, in partnership with the Alberta Motor Association and Calgary Transit Public Safety and Enforcement, are once again launching Operation Christmas Presence.
This initiative focuses on reminding the public to keep purchases and other goods out of sight in their vehicles, giving thieves less of a reason to break in.
Along with an increased presence in several popular shopping centres and Calgary Transit parking lots, partners will be talking to the public about theft from vehicles, and distributing All Valuables Removed placards. Radio ads urging the public to remove items from their vehicles are also being aired on local stations. This year, print ads will also be in grocery stores across the city on till dividers and carts.
The placards are free to the public and were created for vehicle owners to use as a prevention measure. They are intended to encourage vehicle owners to think twice about what they are leaving in their vehicles and to dissuade would-be thieves from needlessly breaking into or damaging a vehicle that has nothing of value in it.
All Valuables Removed signs can be picked up at any CPS district office, community station or AMA centre.
From Sunday, Jan. 1 to Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, there were 6,231 reports of thefts from a vehicle under $5,000 and 93 of more than $5,000. This compares to 6,478 reports of thefts from a vehicle under $5,000 and 81 of more than $5,000 during the same time period in 2011.
Details of a media availability, including a vehicle break-in demonstration, will follow in a separate advisory.