You’ve either got to lock your vehicle, or risk losing it.
That is the simple premise of the Alberta Motor Association's (AMA) Lock It or Lose It program, which has been trialed by RCMP in Red Deer for the past year.
At AMA’s Red Deer location on Wednesday, it was announced the program will now be expanded across Alberta. Our province leads the country in vehicle thefts, accounting for 29 per cent of all vehicle thefts.
That figure equates to 23,000 stolen vehicles, more than three times the national average and a mountainous 62 vehicles stolen every day. In Red Deer, Mounties reported over 1500 stolen vehicles in 2017, or about four per day.
“The rise of vehicle thefts in Alberta is staggering and, in many cases, we can do much more to prevent it,” says Jeff Kasbrick, Vice President of Government and Stakeholder Relations with AMA. “Unlocked doors or keys in the ignition are an open invitation for thieves to steal your vehicle. Lock It or Lose It is a reminder to take simple steps to curb vehicle theft and take away the welcome mat for thieves.”
Theft from vehicles is also a major aspect of the Lock It or Lose It campaign.
In 2017, Red Deer RCMP reported more than 2600 incidents of theft from vehicles – and that’s a 12.5 per cent decrease from 2016.
Inspector Gerald Grobmeier says not only do many vehicle thefts allow criminals to perpetrate other crimes, thefts from vehicles can end up in terrifying situations of fraud for the victim, or break and enters occurring because someone has stolen your ID and garage door opener.
“The risk of injury to the public and to police officers increases every year as criminals get more reckless attempting to evade arrest, and we’re also seeing notable increases in identity theft and fraud due to theft from vehicles,” Grobmeier says. “Red Deer RCMP and Citizens on Patrol have been conducting local Lock It or Lose It campaigns for a year, and we’re pleased to partner with AMA to amplify these import messages – there’s a lot at stake.”
During a Lock It or Lose It check at a Red Deer Rebels game in December, only 48 of 390 vehicles – or 12 per cent – received a passing grade. RCMP gave 50 per cent of vehicles a thumbs up during another Rebels game in January.
For more information on Lock It or Lose It, visit ama.ab.ca.
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