RCMP take proactive approach to alerting public to unlocked vehicles

Officers saw purses, wallets, computers, and other items of value left unattended in open vehicles


With a recent spate of vehicle thefts in Greater Trail, RCMP took preventative steps to show residents they are vulnerable.

On May 10, Trail and Greater District RCMP officers conducted proactive checks into a number of insecure vehicles in downtown Trail and Rossland.

“We continue to have a rash of theft from vehicles and vehicles thefts,” said ays Sgt. Mike Wicentowich, Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of the Trail RCMP detachment. “We would like the public to take vehicle security seriously in order to prevent a larger tragedy from occurring.”

Officers checked the doors of parked vehicles to see if any were unlocked. Wicentowich says that the police discovered approximately 20 unlocked vehicles in Trail and another 20 in Rossland.

Officers saw purses, wallets, computers, and other items of value left unattended inside these insecure vehicles and visible to any passers-by.

“Bank and credit cards stolen from vehicles are used in local ‘tap’ frauds, further exacerbating the problem associated to careless vehicle and key management,” said Wicentowich. “We may issue $81 fines in our next campaign as a few members of the public have stated they would not lock their vehicles in any circumstance.”

The RCMP would like to remind the public that leaving a parked vehicle unlocked is a regulatory offence under the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

According to the Act, a motor vehicle must be equipped with a lock or other device to prevent the unauthorized use of the motor vehicle, and a driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use.

Drivers can be fined $81 for not locking their doors, although police issued no fines this time as the project was a preventive warning for the public.

Recently, a criminal drove a stolen vehicle down the wrong way of a highway in an attempt to get the police to stop following it.

“Car thieves know if they recklessly put others in danger on the road that the police will have to cease following. Stolen vehicles are often used to facilitate other criminal offences, like hauling away stolen property in break and enters, and thefts or as a get-away vehicle.”

Overall, the proactive policing work was very well received by most of the public, reports Wicentowich.