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RCMP: Thefts from vehicles and vehicle thefts on the rise in the province

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In response to a recent spike in thefts of vehicles and theft from vehicles, the New Brunswick RCMP is asking residents to reduce the risk by taking easy steps to help combat this issue.

“Theft of vehicles and from vehicles are often crimes of opportunity,” said Corporal Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP. “Thieves are not always hatching elaborate plans to steal your property, it is more likely that they saw some valuables in plain sight, such as a wallet, purse, sunglasses, or a shopping bag, and decided to steal it.”

The latest data shows, in areas that are served by the New Brunswick RCMP, that in 2022, theft under or equal to $5,000 from a motor vehicle made it to the top 10 criminal offences in the Province with a total of 1,511 cases reported. This represents an increase of almost 9% from the 1,381 cases recorded in 2021.

“There are some simple things people can do to safeguard their belongings to help lower these numbers and mitigate the risk,” added Cpl. Hans Ouellette. “One easy step everyone can take is to make their vehicle more boring to thieves by locking it up and removing tempting items from view. If a thief sees a locked car with nothing valuable inside, they’re less likely to target it, and spend the time trying to get inside.”

New Brunswick RCMP is also reporting a 13% increase in vehicle theft occurrences between 2022 and 2023 and a five-year increase of 51% (between 2019 and 2023).

Residents can transform their ‘vehicles from a thief’s paradise into a safe haven’ with the following tips:

  • Never leave anything valuable like keys, wallets, purses, or shopping bags in your vehicle.
  • Hide anything that could alert thieves that you have valuables in your vehicle, such as computer or cell phone charging cables.
  • Remove all cash from plain view. Loose change can be an incentive for a thief to break into your vehicle.
  • If you must leave bags or valuables in the car, store them in the trunk. Never leave them in plain sight.
  • Never leave your vehicle running. It takes seconds for a thief to hop into your car and drive off.
  • Park in a well-lit, high-visibility area, or in a secure garage when possible.
  • Close and lock all vehicle windows and doors.
  • Report any suspicious people or activity around vehicles or residences to local police.

We encourage anyone who has been a victim of a crime to report it to police. All calls to the RCMP are important. Any information and tips you provide to police, no matter how small they seem, can go a long way in helping track, solve and prevent crimes.

Always call police or 9-1-1 immediately if the incident is still in progress, or if it is an emergency.

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