Guelph police are again urging residents and drivers to take extra precautions following another spate of vehicle thefts and thefts from vehicles.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, three vehicles were stolen in the city, including a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe containing six Apple MacBook Pros and two iPhone 11 Pros.
In that case and in another, a set of keys were left in the stolen vehicle.
A wallet was also stolen from another unlocked vehicle and credit cards were used to make $216.87 in purchases.
“Unfortunately, this is an ongoing problem in the city of Guelph,” said Const. Kyle Grant. “One that’s happening routinely, almost every day and if not every day then multiple times a week.”
It’s also a problem that impacts the entire city and not just certain neighbourhoods, Grant added.
But he said it’s one that can be easily curbed if residents take some simple steps, such as always locking their vehicles, removing any valuables and never leaving keys inside vehicles.
These are not targeted thefts, but just people going car to car on any street in town and seeing if the vehicle is unlocked, Grant said.
“As soon as they find that car door is locked, they just move onto the next car, with the exception being that if they see some valuables in plain sight, that would spur them to try and break in,” he said.
Police are also worried that as the weather gets colder, drivers will be tempted to leave their vehicle as it warms up.
Grant said this old habit is something that just can’t fly in Guelph and that vehicle thefts can happen in a matter of seconds.
“We’ve seen (theft) cases where someone just ran inside to pay for their gas,” he said.
“We can’t be doing that anymore because there are people just waiting for those opportunities and waiting for those easy thefts.”
With all that being said, Grant stresses that Guelph is still a safe city and pointed to the recent data from Statistics Canada that showed that the city’s crime severity index dropped by nine per cent in 2019.
But that doesn’t mean crime doesn’t exist in Guelph.
“Years ago, people would say, ‘I never lock my car, I never lock my house,’ but that’s just not the world we live in anymore,” Grant said.