With the recent increase in theft in the area, the Drumheller RCMP are advising residents to take the proper steps to ensure that you are not the next victim.

"A lot of vehicle theft, not all by all means, but a lot of them is a result of leaving your vehicle running with the keys in it," explained Acting Detachment Commander Gerald Sherk. "Even at homes in rural areas, someone could be going by and see a vehicle running and then it is gone within seconds. I know in the winter people want to make sure their vehicles are warm and when they start it in advance, you are risking someone just walking away with your car."

Sherk suggests that if you have to warm up your vehicle, having that second set of keys to lock your car could save you from being without wheels. Another option would be a remote starter for your vehicle. The cost is expensive but probably less than the amount of your deductible on insurance if your vehicle is stolen.

Another important trick is to keep your keys hidden in your house.

"We have had break and enters where the entire break and entire to the home was simply to get the keys to the car which are hanging on the key rack right beside the door. If it is a location like that it is really easy to have someone find them and leave with your vehicle after breaking into your home. A better bet would to hang your key rack inside your closet, or put your keys somewhere a little less visible so it is less likely someone will break in with the purpose of breaking your vehicle," continued Sherk.

He also adds that while Drumheller is a small community these things do happen here, and opportunist thieves take advantage of the small town mentality,

"We always encourage people to not leave valuables in the car, especially visible in the car. If you do have to leave things in the car, be sure to leave them in the trunk or in the hatch of the car where it is covered and not visible. Then there really is no incentive for someone to break into your vehicle when they don't know what's going to be there," concluded Sherk.

Sherk commented that he can not give an explanation into why there has been an increase in theft in the valley as every case is different.

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