Locally, vehicle thefts in Lethbridge increased significantly between 2016 and 2017. Last year, a total of 319 vehicles were reported stolen compared to 172 the year before.
Lethbridge Police are urging motorists not to leave unattended vehicles running or the keys inside – or risk returning to an empty parking spot. Data released in Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, shows 29% of all vehicle thefts in Canada happen in Alberta. The report points out about 62 vehicles are stolen in the province every day – more than three times the national average. Locally, vehicle thefts increased significantly between 2016 and 2017. Last year a total of 319 vehicles were reported stolen compared to 172 in 2016. Year to date in 2018 (to the end of February) there have been 74 vehicle thefts – 27 in January and 47 in February.
In many of the cases the vehicles were either left running or culprits were able to access keys that had been left/hidden inside. Further, the majority of the vehicles were recovered locally which suggests the thefts are being committed by culprits in an effort to get from point A to B. LPS Inspector Tom Ascroft says unattended vehicles that are left running are an easy target and notes police are also seeing a lot of vehicles stolen because the keys were left inside. Of the incidents in 2018, a number of them involved repeat victims where keys had been left inside. - Lethbridge Police Release
Police are once again reminding the public to lock it or lose it.
* Never leave an unattended vehicle running – even for a few moments
* Never leave keys inside a vehicle – hidden or otherwise|
* Never leave valuables inside a vehicle
* Always lock the doors and secure the windows
* Park in well-lit, well-travelled areas