The results of an online survey conducted by Saskatoon police are highlighting a major preventative problem with auto theft.
According to the survey, 58 per cent of theft victims admit they left the keys inside their vehicle at the time of the crime.
That stat holds true to the 2017 numbers so far, with 59 per cent of vehicles reported stolen left unsecured.
Supt. Mitch Yepdepski with Saskatoon police said people don’t seem to realize the impact of stolen vehicles.
“There’s an increasing amount of vehicles that are stolen in the city that are used in another crime,” he said.
According to the survey results, people left keys in or near their vehicle because of convenience.
“I think part of it is a, ‘This won’t happen to me (attitude),’” Yepdepski said.
Most respondents do believe owners are responsible for securing their vehicle and reducing the opportunity for victimization.
Saskatoon police are part of a “park smart” initiative to educate people on how to protect their vehicles including locking doors, taking out valuables and parking in busy, well-lit areas when possible.
Yepdepski believes it’s about shifting people’s mentality.
“I live over here and this isn’t a problem here,” Yepdepski said is a common reaction to theft. “It’s a problem throughout the city. We have vehicles stolen from any neighbourhood and recovered in any neighbourhood.”
About 1,400 people took part in the online survey last fall.