Penticton RCMP say avoid the Grinch, hide your gifts

RCMP want the public to remember to store their items out of sight of criminal opportunists before they head into a shopping mall.

Don’t become a victim to the Christmas Grinch is the message RCMP want the public to remember before they leave their car to go shopping.

Penticton RCMP Cpl. Jas Johal said over 7,000 vehicles have been checked in the last three weeks with extra daytime patrols made by volunteers involved with the Lock Out Auto Crime Program. Out of the vehicles checked at shopping mall parking lots 22 were spotted with expired licence plates and numerous vehicles were found with valuables left in plain view inside.

Volunteers have been leaving written reminders to secure valuables out of sight when left in vehicles.

“The Christmas Grinch, also known as criminal opportunists, are also patrolling our local mall parking lots and helping themselves to your valuables left in your parked vehicles,” said Johal.

“They are watching and it is not to see if you have been naughty or nice, but to see what you have bought and where you are putting it.”

Penticton RCMP and volunteers will continue to conduct patrols in local shopping malls and ask the public to put valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. If you see a suspicious person in the parking lot, call the RCMP and report it.

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