Surrey RCMP: Don’t let the Grinch ruin your holiday season

THE holiday season is upon us, and as you make your rounds in the retail shops to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, Grinches are also busy trying to find vehicles that have shopping bags to steal.

Surrey RCMP are launching their annual project Mistletoe to hamper the efforts of criminals whose actions are Grinch-like. Additional resources are being deployed to areas that have been identified by crime analysts as higher risk for property-related offences. Surrey RCMP’s Mobile Street Enforcement Team, Community Response Unit and Traffic Unit are working together to ensure the success of this initiative.

Through a combined effort, Operation Mistletoe aims to prevent personal robberies, thefts, thefts from vehicles, and impaired driving. Some of the strategic measures include increased foot patrols, bike patrol, coupled with covert and overt enforcement.

That is a big no-no!

Surrey RCMP encourage you to safeguard your valuables using these tips, say Sgt. Manny Atwal and Media Relations Officer Constable Sarbjit Sangha at Guildford Mall:

• Remove all valuables from your vehicle, including garage door openers;

• Don’t stow purchases in your vehicle in plain sight while you continue to shop;

• Ensure you lock your vehicle and use an anti-theft device; and

• Be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity to police.

Surrey RCMP Constable Sarbjit Sangha

Surrey RCMP Mobile Street Enforcement Team along with the Community Response Unit will be increasing patrols at malls and transit hubs. Their focus will be on detecting and deterring criminals looking to take advantage of the holiday shopping season.

Online shopping and the convenience that comes along with it has increased the number of packages being delivered to homes. During the holiday season people also send gifts to their loved ones by mail. Keep the following tips in mind to help save yourself the heartache of losing your packages and gifts:

  • Don’t leave mail in your mailbox. Collect your mail promptly after delivery. Unattended mail is a treasure trove of personal information for potential thieves;
  • Avoid sending cash or gift cards in the mail;
  • Plan ahead, if you’ll be away, let Canada Post hold your mail until you return or have a neighbor collect your mail;
  • When shopping online, avoid having packages delivered to your front door if you aren’t home during the day. Instead, have them shipped to your work or to a friend who is home to accept the delivery;
  • Ask a neighbour to collect your mail, flyers and newspapers; and
  •  Install timers in different areas of your house to turn lights on and off and different times.

For more information on protecting your property, visit the Protect Yourself section of the Surrey RCMP website.