Police are warning residents in the Châteauguay area, including Saint-Isidore, Léry and Beauharnois of a recent rash of vehicle thefts, especially SUVs and trucks.
Police said in most cases the targeted vehicles were recent models with Ford F-150 trucks being especially popular.
Most thefts occurred on private property either overnight or in the early morning.
Châteauguay police said no particular neighbourhood was singled out and that the uptick in thefts is a phenomenon that is being observed in various parts of the province.
On Oct. 19, officers arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with the theft of a Ford F-150 in Châteauguay but despite the arrest, other vehicles were stolen.
In a news release, Châteauguay police said their investigation leads them to believe the thefts are part of a well-structured network.
Officers have increased patrols in “at-risk areas” and investigators are collaborating with other forces to “arrest the perpetrators.”
In the meantime, police said there are various things people can do to protect themselves including parking their vehicle in a well-lit and busy spot or inside a garage for those who have one.
Other prevention tips included:
- Storing your keys in a safe spot inside your home, away from the front door or other entrances and inside a metal box for electronic keys;
- Cutting the motor and bringing your keys with you even if you’re just running a quick errand;
- Always locking your doors and keeping the windows rolled up;
- Equipping your vehicle with an anti-theft device;
- Never leaving valuables in plain sight inside your vehicle;
- Checking the manufacturer’s manual as to whether your electronic key can be deactivated.
Police are inviting anyone with information to contact the confidential tip line at 450-698-3229.