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Deputy Police Chief discusses ongoing issue of thefts from unlocked vehicles in North Bay

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Since early March, the North Bay Police Service has been dealing with thefts from unlocked vehicles around the city week after week. In each release given to the media, they’ve asked the public to lock their vehicles when leaving them unattended for the day but the issue hasn’t gone away. On Monday, the latest batch of reports the police are looking into were on Lancelot Avenue, Main Street East and Beth Street. Deputy Police Chief Scott Tod says that’s part of the problem, these incidents aren’t isolated to any one area. He says police receive reports about thefts from vehicles all around the city.

Tod says these are crimes of opportunity, because most of the items being stolen don’t have much monetary value to them. Tod says the street crime unit is on patrol during the early hours of the morning trying to deal with the issue, because that’s when these thefts are believed to be happening. He says it’s a tough crime because most people report the thefts to police hours after they’ve already taken place. Tod says the chances of police actually catching someone in the act are very slim, but they’re still there. He added there’s not a lot of forensic evidence police can gather when someone is just opening a door handle, grabbing what they can and leaving.

It’s usually items like sunglasses or iPods that are taken from vehicles, but sometimes the thief’s steal ownership assurances slips. Tod says people associate their slips to possible identity theft, and while that’s possible he says it’s not usually the case. He says it’s the wallets, laptop computers, phones or expensive sun glasses that get the attention of these crooks. Tod finished by saying the police are really trying to engage the public to get them to start locking their vehicles when they leave them unattended so this rash of minor crime will stop.

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