Car Prowling Spike to 20-year high in Calgary
BY COLLEEN UNDERWOOD, CBC NEWS: POSTED DECEMBER 01, 2015
Car prowlings spike to 20-year high in Calgary
Police believe much of the crime is drug-addiction related
The rate of thefts from vehicles is higher now than it has been since police started keeping statistics, which is about 20 years ago, says Calgary police Insp. Keith Cain.
“It seems to be a number of factors that are contributing to this very concerning phase that we are going through, or trend that we’re seeing, ” says Cain.
That trend not only includes thefts from vehicles — or car prowlings as they are also known — but other related crimes including vehicle thefts, or break and enter into garages, or homes, once the criminal has the garage door opener.
All of these types of crimes are up 50 per cent over last year.
“All of this I suppose, education of the criminals, of them moving up the food chain, has resulted in a huge increase in all these offences,” Cain said.
Window repairs ‘busier than ever’
It’s keeping auto glass shops busy around Calgary. CalAlta Auto Glass customer service representative Kary Heikoop says she has been getting one or two related calls every day.
“I’m surprised at the fact of how often, people are coming in and and every time, I usually ask what happened to the windshield so we can understand, and constantly, vandalism — somebody broke into it, smashed it,” said Heikoop.
Jake Franklin, a technician with Dynasty Auto Glass, wonders if this year’s increase is connected to the economic downturn.
“There’s a lot of really desperate people out there and there’s a little bit everywhere, that if they can find it they’ll grab it.”
No proof it’s downturn-related
Cain says police don’t have information yet to show there’s a direct correlation between the increase in crime and the downturn.
He says there’s a wide range of people committing these crimes, but statistically, they’re mostly adults who are trying to fuel their drug addictions.
And it’s happening all over the city. That’s why police will be launching a city-wide home-protection blitz that will see flyers delivered face to face to someone in the home.
The flyers provide some reminders on how to keep you, your vehicle and your home safe, Cain says.
“There should never be anything of value that’s visible. If it’s visible, the criminal may decide that it’s worth their while to smash and do $200 or $300 or $400 in property damage to grab something that may only be worth $5 or $10 from your vehicle,” he said.
Cain says you also shouldn’t leave keys or a garage door opener in the vehicle. And you should ensure the door from the garage to the home is kept locked.
EMERGENCY? CALL 911
911 is to be used only for emergencies (police, fire and medical) where an immediate response is required. This should be called only if there is an emergency and lives are in danger, immediate assistance is required or there is a crime in progress.
CALGARY POLICE SERVICE NON-EMERGENCY: 403-266-1234
This should be used for all non-emergency situations, where an immediate response is not required. This number should be called when time has elapsed since the incident, the suspect is not on scene or you are calling about a nuisance issue (i.e. noise complaints, suspicious people, intoxication, etc.). Police will attend on a lower priority basis.
ON-GOING COMMUNITY CONCERNS? CALL DISTRICT 1: 403-567-6100
The CROs provide a key point of contact for community policing initiatives and problem-solving. They monitor crime trends, traffic and social issues within their zone. They also keep track of the crime issues that are of particular concern to residents.
CITY OF CALGARY CONCERNS: 311
Please contact 311 and concerns (i.e. burnt out street lights, garbage collection, etc.) will be forwarded to the appropriate depart
We encourage you to open and print the pdf file (link below) for a detailed “who to call list” to print and keep near your phone for reference.