Crime map shows the many thefts from vehicles in Maple Ridge, from Aug. 1 to Sept. 9.

Thefts from vehicles on the rise in Maple Ridge

Drivers leaving cars unlocked, valuables in sight says RCMP

That compartment in your vehicle console where you like to stash your wallet or phone – thieves know about your ‘hiding place.’

That’s the message Ridge Meadows RCMP want to get out to the public, as thefts from vehicles are on the rise in Maple Ridge.

They are urging people not to leave valuables in their vehicles, and make sure they are looking the doors.

“We’re seeing this crime of opportunity, where vehicles are being left unlocked,” said RCMP Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk, explaining this creates a “target rich environment.”

She noted phones, purses, wallets and laptop computers are being reported stolen. This is often simply because drivers get out of the car and forget they have left their wallet or phone laying on a console, often in view. These are “significantly high-value items to a thief.”

Thieves will quickly smash a window and grab these items.

Thieves also check vehicle doors to see whether they are locked. When they find an open door, they quickly rustle through glove boxes, look under seats and console compartments that are often designed to be less obvious.

“Bad guys know that they have these compartments,” said Gresiuk.

The Maple Ridge crime map shows this crime is most common in the downtown area, but certainly occurs in residential neighbourhoods as well

Gresiuk having one’s windows smashed and credit cards stolen is a huge inconvenience.

“You’re down the rabbit hole of a horrible experience.”

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