Lock it & Pocket the Key!
Auto Theft Investigations show that the overwhelming majority of vehicles stolen in Saint John are taken because the owner left a spare key within the vehicle. These keys are often discovered during what Police refer to as “carprowls”.
Criminals scan parked vehicles looking for:
- Attractive items worth stealing (ipod, cameras, computers, stereos, hockey equipment etc .)
- Loose change
- Unlocked vehicles
If they see anything that catches their eye, the car is targeted & searched. This is when the ‘hidden’ key is discovered & the theft takes place. These offences generally take place during the darkened hours & by the time the theft has been discovered, the vehicle has generally been abandoned, quite often it is damaged maliciously.
Auto Theft Investigators know that 90% of vehicle thefts in Saint John occur in this fashion. This is an entirely preventable situation if vehicle owners would Lock it & Pocket the key!
The Saint John Police Force Stolen Auto Unit & the Community Services Unit teamed up early in 2011 to address this problem & commenced an on-going crime reduction strategy aimed at reducing the number of vehicles stolen because of spare keys left inside.
Community Police Officers & Auxiliary Police Officers physically roamed city streets in hot-spot areas & attached report cards to parked vehicles warning owners about bad habits observed by the Officers. Neon billboard warnings were placed in high crime areas & presentations were made to community groups as well as insurance companies.
The Lock it & Pocket the Key program has been well received by the community, supported by the media & partners such as shopping malls who have posted signs warning people to remove valuables & lock their cars.
The program has achieved a high degree of cooperation & success. The proof of which has been a reduction in car thefts for 2011 of over 60%!
Recently, the Lock it & Pocket the Key program received a commendation from the Province of New Brunswick Department of Public Safety in recognition of its contribution to a reduction in crime.
How can you help prevent/stop Auto Theft?
- Always remember to “Lock it & Pocket the key.”
- Call 648-3333 if you see people you suspect are committing “carprowls”.
- If you have any information concerning stolen vehicles including ATV’s, call the Stolen Auto Unit at any of our contact points, including Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).