July 18, 2014 8:52 pm

Top 5 ways to keep your car safe from break-ins and theft

Watch above: If you don’t need it, don’t bring it. That’s the message Edmonton police are sending to those planning on hitting up the K-Days midway.

EDMONTON – With K-Days now underway at Northlands, the Edmonton Police Service is reminding motorists to be proactive and protect themselves from thieves.

In 2013, reported thefts from vehicles accounted for 31 per cent of all crime in Edmonton, according to police.

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“It’s an unfortunate reality,” said EPS Constable Ryan May from the Downtown Neighbouhood Empowerment Team (N.E.T.).

“Parking lots are such a target-rich environment, and when people don’t lock their car doors, they make it so easy for thieves.”

While there were only three reported thefts from vehicles during the 2013 K-Days festival, officers suggested the following five strategies to protect their vehicles and personal belongings:

Remove all valuables

Never leave anything — loose change, sunglasses, cigarettes, cell phones — on display when you leave your vehicle. Officers say if a thief can see something, they will steal it.

Park safely

When parking at home, police urge motorists to always use a garage if you have one, and lock both your vehicle and your garage. If you don’t have a garage, try to always park your car in a well-lit, open place.

Remove portable accessories

Removing stereo faceplates and locking them in the trunk or taking them with you will deter thieves, police say.

Get an alarm installed

Alarms can deter thieves from stealing your vehicle and items inside it. But officers urge motorists to remove all items, even if you have an alarm installed. Thieves can easily smash a window, reach in, grab an item and be gone in seconds.

Use a steering wheel locking device 

Use a steering wheel lock (such as the club) every time you leave your vehicle. A vehicle that is well secured has a tendency to deter criminals. A steering wheel lock will also deter theft of your vehicle.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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