Increase in Vehicle Thefts
The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) has noted an increase in the number of stolen trucks reported over the last 30 days, with Ford F250 and F350 being reported as stolen more frequently.
The majority of stolen vehicles are recovered within a short period of time and most vehicle thefts are simply a crime of opportunity, with criminals taking advantage of an easy target and using the vehicle to aid in committing other crimes such as; break and enters, robberies and drug trafficking.
There are several ways to minimize the chance of vehicle theft including:
- Do not leave your vehicle running. Under no circumstances should you leave your vehicle unattended while running with the keys in the ignition.
- Lock your vehicle. Close the windows and sunroof all the way. Where possible, leave your vehicle in a locked garage and lock your vehicle even when it is in the locked garage.
- No spare keys. Do not leave a spare key hidden in the vehicle. Thieves look for spare keys and once they break into your vehicle, they know all of the hiding spots.
- Do not leave items visible in your vehicle. This includes; parcels, cell phones, GPS devices, laptops, clothing or money. Thieves can be attracted to your car because of personal items left in plain sight.
- Be aware of where you park. Park in well-lit parking lots or on a street with lots of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This will help to deter car thieves.
The MHPS recommends that Ford truck owners (2005-2008 models) take extra precaution, as the vehicles are being stolen using common tools. Extra precautions would include; installing an alarm system, steering wheel locking system or other anti-theft devices.
The members of the MHPS are working diligently to apprehend and charge known offenders. However, successfully charging and prosecuting offenders does not remove the cost and inconvenience to the victim of vehicle theft and higher insurance costs for all vehicle owners.
Observant residents are also another important part of preventing vehicle theft. Report suspicious behavior in your neighborhood by calling the MHPS at 403-529-8481 or 9-1-1 if you see a crime in progress.
Insp Brent Secondiak
Medicine Hat Police Service