With cars numbering in the thousands expected to pour into downtown for events at Rogers Place the City Police are warning you to hide it, lock it or lose it.
EPS Sgt. Steve Sharpe says it’s not a new trend. Thieves look for places like concerts, sporting events and movie theatres where they know they’ll have time to smash, grab and go.
“You know that that vehicle is going to be unattended for two to three hours at a time, and these people…you know, there are times when it’s a crime of opportunity but as we’ve seen this crime increase since 2012 quite steadily in Edmonton, theft from auto, I mean these people are targeting areas where they feel they’ll get the biggest reward and payoff.”
He says it’s a warning that doesn’t just apply to Edmontonians.
“A lot of times some of our larger events, they do attract people from out of town where it’s not a part of their normal routine. So there could be some vulnerability there in terms of we need people to be mindful of their routine. Having the valuables out and locking the vehicle.”
Sharpe says the key is to try and reduce the vulnerability of your vehicle. He says of course you’ll want to remove all valuables from the car, but adds a steering wheel lock might be a worthwhile investment. Sharpe says that sends the message that you’ve taken steps to prevent theft, and that’s often enough to dissuade a would-be thief.
He adds that they’ve increased foot and bike patrols through the Ice District and he’s hopeful that the stronger police presence will send potential thieves home empty handed.