July 27, 2016 6:58 pm

Lethbridge car thieves look to steal debit and credit cards

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Lethbridge police have seen a rise in thefts from vehicles. Police say thieves will take anything of value, especially things that can be sold or traded for drugs, but right now debit and credit cards with the tap feature are a hot target. This is because they don’t require a PIN to be entered.

“They will go in there and grab those cards and then they just start hitting the stores and walking away, sometimes with a lot of product and a lot of money very quickly,” Const. Steve Baker said.

There have been over 380 general thefts this year in Lethbridge, which is up by over 140 from last year.

Police say many are from cars. Baker says about 90 per cent are unlocked.

“When we deal with some of these car prowlers that go around and check door handles, it’s not uncommon for them to take pride in the fact that they don’t damage property,” he said.

He says most of these thefts are preventable and this added number of them adds stress to the police force.

“There are scales… Violent crimes, we want to be able to focus on things like that, because the community impact is far greater and we want to make sure we have our resources to do that, but if we are spending our time to deal with people who forgot to lock their door… it taxes all of that,” he said.

Police stress thefts from vehicles is largely a crime of opportunity. So, to prevent break ins, don’t leave your wallet in the car, keep other valuable items out of sight and simply remember to lock your doors.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc

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