Police across Saskatchewan are banding together with a common goal – to help limit the number of vehicles that are stolen.
From now until July 24, you’ll hear radio ads urging drivers to make sure their vehicle’s doors are locked, that keys are not left inside, and all valuables are out of sight. The campaign states that drivers’ actions are the “key” to driving down auto thefts.
“We’re hoping that this just reminds the public to take the keys out. Let’s make the vehicles a little harder to take,” said Weyburn Police Chief Marlo Pritchard, who is also the president of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police.
Pritchard hopes that these ads will change driver behaviour.
Regina police have stated that 60 per cent of all stolen vehicles are the result of either people leaving their keys inside their vehicles or leaving their vehicles unlocked. It’s something not uncommon in the rest of Saskatchewan. Officers also say stolen vehicles are often used in other crimes, some of which cross over into different police jurisdictions.
RCMP Superintendent Kris Vibe said unfortunately this has been happening for years. He said it can be hard for people in smaller, rural communities to change their ways.
“People in those communities trust everybody and know everybody. That’s just something that they’ve done all their life. Hence, it’s hard to get people to change these habits,” he said.
Vibe said officers in rural communities check vehicles now to see if they’re locked. If they aren’t, police will put a pamphlet on the windshield and lock vehicles for drivers in an effort to educate them.