Red Deer RCMP have received 35 reports of stolen vehicles since October 1.
The high rate of reported car thefts has prompted the detachment to issue a reminder to citizens to be vigilant.
At least ten of the 35 reported were left running and unlocked or with keys inside -- and in several cases, the vehicle owner was very nearby.
“RCMP hear citizens talk a lot about their concerns about property crime, and we are working hard to deal with these prolific offenders, but we need the public to do their part, too,” says Corporal Karyn Kay of the Red Deer RCMP.
“Some crime is not preventable, but much of it is. If you leave your vehicle unlocked and running, or if you leave purses or wallets unattended inside your vehicle, your chances of victimization are high. And it doesn’t stop at getting your vehicle back or cancelling your credit cards. Thieves will use your personal identification to apply for multiple in-store credit cards, to apply for online loans, to open new bank accounts and even get a new vehicle loan in your name."
Kay adds that identity theft can do tremendous damage to your name and your credit rating.
Several victims of recent vehicle thefts had left their wallets or purses inside, opening them up to fraud and identity theft on top of the loss of their vehicle. According to Mounties, there were 10 such cases between September 5 and October 5.
RCMP further urge drivers to never leave keys or any valuables in their vehicle, even when in a garage, and to use a spare key to lock their vehicle if they leave it running and unattended.
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