Auto thief in black balaclava trying to break into car with screwdriver. (Pixabay photo)

Island hikers and park users warned to keep valuables in vehicles out of sight

Spring weather draws more hikers out to rural parking lots, where thieves are at work

  • Apr. 23, 2021 6:30 a.m.

A recent theft on the south coast of Vancouver Island is also serving as a reminder that hiking season is also ‘protect your valuables in your car’ season.

Sooke RCMP issued a warning to hikers to leave their valuables at home, following a theft from a vehicle in Shirley, where the driver’s side back window was smashed and items were stolen from a car left in the parking lot of a popular hiking destination.

“If you are heading out to the woods, we recommend not bringing anything of value. If you have to bring something, such as a wallet, secure it in a place where it’s not visible,” said Cpl. Joe Holmes.

Aside from keeping the spare change out of sight, gadgets stored away, and locking your vehicle, there are further ways to deter thieves. Holmes added that if you have a phone cord in your vehicle, make sure the end of it is in plain sight, so thieves know there is not a device attached.

He also said if you do plan on bringing any valuables, put them either in your trunk or out of sight, before you get to your destination so no one sees you put them there.

Holmes noted that before bringing an expensive item anywhere, it is a good idea to write down the serial number, along with the colour, make and model.

“Serial numbers are helpful because you can list them as stolen, and then anyone caught with that item can be charged with possession and stolen property. This goes for anything, equipment, sporting goods, gadgets… it’s good to keep a list at the house with their estimated values,” said Holmes.

Hikers are also asked to be prepared when heading into the woods, by doing things such as bringing water and food, telling someone the planned path and return time, and dressing appropriately.

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