Surrey RCMP: Protect yourself from the Grinch this holiday season

SURREY RCMP are launching the annual Operation Mistletoe to remind the public to protect their valuables while shopping in the local malls and take steps to prevent mail and packages from being stolen.

Police point out that it is that time of the year when we start going through the wish list for our loved ones. We spend time and money picking the perfect gift. Unfortunately, thieves are also on the lookout for an easy opportunity to help themselves to gifts, electronics, décor and packages, in the hopes of making a quick profit.

Surrey RCMP are deploying additional resources 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. Expect to see increased foot patrols and bike patrols around local malls and transit hubs. In addition to overt enforcement, there will also be covert measures in place with the focus on detecting and deterring criminals looking to take advantage of the holiday shopping season.

Both police and the community have an important role to play in working together to prevent crime.
Surrey RCMP encourage the public to safeguard their valuables using these tips:

  • 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.

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, and 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.