VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – ‘Tis the season for your Christmas presents to be stolen from your car.
It only takes a few seconds for your gifts to disappear, so Vancouver Police are encouraging you to make it harder on criminals.
Police reinforced how easy it is by smashing a car window in a parking lot in a demonstration involving Batman and the Joker.
Detective Phil Ens channeled his best Christian Bale to bring home his message. “This is no joking matter. Every Christmas season, thefts from autos rise in the city, and with that comes children that cry at Christmas because their presents have been taken away from them.”
Police are encouraging you to use one of the 45 parking lots that are part of the Safer Parking Initiative.
Colin Brown of Canadian Direct Insurance, which sponsors the program, says lots that have enrolled have taken extra precautions like improved lighting, security patrols and surveillance to ward off thieves.
“We have seen a 47 percent drop in crime in Safer Parking award winning lots with many Safer Parking facilities reporting zero crime occurrences on a monthly basis.”
While theft from vehicles has gone down in recent years, there have still been close to 7,500 cases so far this year.
More tips from VPD to keep thieves out:
- Don’t store gifts in your trunk. Thieves often follow customers out the their car and break in when they leave.
- Use an anti-theft device. Not only will your car be safer, but you can get a discount on your auto insurance.
- Remove garage door openers and insurance papers from your car. Together they give a thief your home address, and a way to get in.
- Don’t leave any possessions in your vehicle.
- Choose a parking facility that is clean and bright, has onsite security features and a parking attendant.
- Make sure the parking facility has noticeable entrance and exit points for vehicles and pedestrians.