Victoria Police Const. Matt Rutherford encourages people to pay special attention to leaving valuables in clear sight in your car or truck, given the recent rash of thefts from vehicles. Don Descoteau/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria Police warn thefts from vehicles on the rise

Sharp increase attributed to loose change and other items left in plain sight

Victoria police are warning the public against leaving loose change and valuables in plain sight after a rise in vehicle thefts over the course of the last year.

In 2016, there were a reported 158 thefts from vehicles across the downtown core, 32 of which occurred in parkades. In 2017, that number jumped to 441, with 241 of them occurring in parkades, marking a 25 per cent increase across Victoria and Esquimalt.

In a statement, VicPD said officers have been active in patrolling parkades – both City and privately owned – and reserve constables and volunteers will continue to operate the Lock Out Auto Crime program (LOAC).

“This program has been a great way to educate people on how to prevent theft from vehicles,” the statement reads. “They regularly see money, smart phones, laptops and other expensive electronics all in plain view, alongside recently purchased presents and gifts.”

Keep an eye out for LOAC notices on your vehicle; volunteers may have been by to help remind you how to reduce the chances of a theft. If you have been the victim of theft, you can report it online at vicpd.ca/reportcrimeonline or at 250-995-7654.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

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