FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The RCMP are reminding the driving public to lock their vehicles when left unattended or parked.
According to the RCMP with the snowy season, the RCMP has received calls where a driver was warming up their vehicle while unlocked or hopped out of their vehicle at a gas station/convenience store and returned to find their vehicle had been stolen.
The RCMP shared, you owe it to yourself to lock your vehicle every time you exit it. Going on to explain, in the short time that it takes to turn off your vehicle and lock it, is a small inconvenience compared to returning to your vehicle and all of its contents gone.
“Over the years I have seen vehicles left running and unattended with firearms, small children or pets in them,” said Staff Sergeant Steve Perret who sees the same trend occur every winter season. “Taking two seconds to lock up a vehicle is a small step of prevention that can save everyone so much frustration, time and financial loss.”
RCMP are reminding drivers who leave their vehicles unlocked and unattended can be issued a violation ticket for Unsecured Motor Vehicle with a fine of $81 under Section 191(2)(a) of the BC Motor Vehicle Act.
The section reads that a driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has (a) locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use.
According to the RCMP, reviewing recent files could give the impression that thieves are aware of this opportunity and are on the lookout for unsecured running vehicles.
Thieves are looking for wallets, money, tablets, phones and tools anything they can use or sell. Simply locking a vehicle goes a long way to preventing the theft of a vehicle and its contents because most thefts are thefts of convenience. If the door is unlocked with keys in the ignition, the vehicle can be gone in less than 10 seconds. If it is locked, the would-be thief moves on because they want to minimize the risk of getting caught.
RCMP say the drain on resources and the amount of time spent in order to try to recover the stolen vehicle could be used to respond to other reports in a timelier manner. Also stating, there is a greater risk to the public when a vehicle is stolen as many thieves will go to great lengths to avoid being caught while driving.