Calgary, AB,

Don't Let a Thief Pocket Your Holidays

Nothing brings the Grinch more happiness than a car full of shopping bags and gifts. Most thefts from vehicles are crimes of opportunity and can be prevented with a few simple steps. Just remember, when you’re out shopping, so are thieves.

To help prevent holiday related crimes in long-stay parking lots, the Calgary Police Service, in partnership with Calgary Transit Public Safety and Enforcement and Sunridge Mall have launched Operation Mrs. Claws.

This operation focusses on high-visibility patrols in the areas surrounding Sunridge Mall, which historically sees an increase in property crimes around the holidays. Along with patrols, officers with CPS and Calgary Transit will be reminding the public to keep purchases and other goods out of sight in their vehicles, giving criminals less of a reason to break in.

Officers with the District 5 Crime Reduction Team, Mountain Bike Unit, Community Resource Officers, General Investigations Unit and others, have teamed up with Peace Officers from Calgary Transit and Sunridge Mall security department for the next two weeks, both patrolling the parking lots, as well as the nearby Rundle CTrain station, and other popular shopping areas where there is an increase in vehicle and foot traffic.

In the first three days of the operation, officers have already charged a member of the public with impaired driving after spotting a suspicious vehicle leaving the mall. The driver was more than three times the legal limit.

Members will also be engaging local business on how to target-harden themselves against criminal activity. The operation runs until Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.

Here are a few simple precautions vehicle owners can take to decrease the chance of becoming a victim:

  • ensure your vehicle is properly secure before entering the mall;
  • ensure all valuables are out of sight;
  • store all purchases in the trunk of your vehicle;
  • if you are spending a long time in the mall, periodically check on your vehicle;
  • use a steering wheel lock and/or car alarm;
  • don’t leave your keys in the car while it is running; and
  • park your vehicle in a well-lit, well-travelled area.