Calgary, AB,
14
April
2015
|
20:30
America/Denver

Unlocked doors and running cars helping thieves across Calgary

Unlocked garage doors and vehicles left with the keys inside are contributing to an increase in property and vehicle thefts in all parts of the city. It is a trend that has the Calgary Police Service asking citizens to be vigilant when it comes to locking doors and vehicles.

At the end of February, vehicle thefts were up 76 per cent compared to the five-year average and there was a 60 per cent increase in car prowlings. So far this year, approximately one third of all vehicles stolen were taken using the vehicles’ keys.

Residential break and enters are also on the rise, up 31 per cent from the five-year average by the end of February. In many of these break-ins, the suspect entered a garage through an unlocked door to steal property and sometimes to gain access to the attached residence.

Police believe that a significant number of these crimes are crimes of opportunity and many of the vehicles stolen are used to commit other, sometimes violent, crimes. Calgarians can help protect their vehicles and property by:

  • Always locking vehicle, garage and house doors, even if you are nearby or only leaving for a short period of time.
  • Not leaving vehicles unattended with the keys inside, and making sure spare keys are kept in a secure location not in or around your vehicle.
  • Hiding or removing valuables from your vehicle so that they are not visible to people walking by.
  • Securing your vehicle if you need to leave it running by either locking the doors or using a steering wheel lock so it cannot be driven easily.
  • Reporting any suspicious activity to police immediately by calling 403-266-1234, or 9-1-1 if there is a crime in progress.

Police have increased patrols in areas where the problem is greatest.  Related investigations have so far led to four arrests.

On Monday, April 13, 2015, a stolen vehicle was stopped in the 1100 block of Canterbury Drive S.W., where two people were found inside with drugs and two handguns.

Asad Wahdat KHAN, 19, of Calgary, is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, two drug offences, and 11 firearm offences.

Talia HARO, 20, of Calgary, is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime, two drug offences, and nine firearm offences.

Also on Monday, April 13, 2015, a different stolen vehicle was stopped in the 19000 block of Seton Crescent S.E., where two people were found inside and arrested.

Michael Shane DOLL, 21, of no fixed address, is charged with one count of possession of stolen property over $5,000, and three counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000.

Lacey ROWETT, 22, of Calgary, is charged with one count of possession of stolen property over $5,000, four counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000, one count of possession of a controlled substance, and various traffic offences.

While increased patrols will continue, police cannot address the growing number of property crimes on their own and need the public’s help to stop the thefts by making sure vehicles and property are secure.